NFLPA: NFL lacks authority to force Adrian Peterson to attend therapy

Wednesday January 28th, 2015

The NFL Players Association filed a brief in federal court this week arguing that the NFL can't mandate that suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson attend counseling sessions, reports's Ben Goessling.

Peterson was suspended for the remainder of the 2014 season after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault in November for hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch. Included in the terms of the suspension was a mandate for Peterson to participate in a counseling and therapy program.

Peterson, a six-time Pro Bowl running back and 2012 NFL MVP, will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15. The NFLPA says the league has overstepped its boundaries in its discipline of Peterson.

“The NFL does not deny that the Commissioner's imposed counseling requirement is neither a fine, suspension, or contract termination, nor would there be any other 'plausible' interpretation of this CBA provision permitting such a requirement,” the NFLPA argues in the brief.

Peterson and the NFL Players Association sued the NFL last month, arguing that the ruling that upheld Peterson's suspension was contrary to "fundamental principles of notice, fairness and consistency" of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A judge is scheduled to hear 30-minute arguments from both sides on Feb. 6.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ordered Peterson to meet with a NFL-appointed psychiatrist, but it is not known if Peterson has done so.

Peterson, 29, remains under contract for the next three seasons and is scheduled to make $12.75 million in 2015.

- Scooby Axson

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