Bigger than football

Adrian Peterson announces plans to fight one-year domestic violence suspension

By Kenneth Porter
Staff Writer

NFL.com reports that the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) officially filed an appeal for embattled Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s season long suspension on Thursday, Nov. 20. Peterson was suspended in November for an incident involving his use of a “switch,” or thin tree branch, to discipline his four-year-old son.

Image from CNN.com.

Image from CNN.com.

The suspension is the only obstacle between Adrian Peterson and a return to an NFL playing field.

On Nov. 4, Peterson pled no contest to the one count of the misdemeanor reckless assault for the whipping incident in a Conroe, Texas court, allowing him to avoid jail time.

Peterson was sentenced to two years of probation, a $4,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. However, the court’s ruling is unrelated to suspension that was dealt out by the NFL that Peterson and the NFLPA are determined to defeat.

As it currently stands, Peterson is ineligible to play for the Minnesota Vikings or any other NFL team until April 15, 2015 for violating the League’s personal conduct policy. Peterson will lose the upwards of $4 million if the suspension is upheld due to missed games, reports CBS Sports.

The NFLPA views Commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell’s suspension with distaste and have claimed that his ruling is “another example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements [the League] makes and the actions they take.”

Commissioner Goodell has stood behind his decision.

“We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement,” said Goodell in a letter to Peterson that was made public. “You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”

Peterson has spent the past several weeks attempting to mend his public image, appealing to both the media and his fans across the country.

“No one knows how I felt when I turned my child around after spanking him and seeing [the gashes and marks] I had left on his leg. No one knows that dad sat there and apologized to him, hugged him and told him that I didn’t mean to do this to you and how sorry I was,” Peterson said in a recent interview with USA Today Sports, his first since the situation began. “I love my son. I love my kids, my family. Like I said after I took the misdemeanor plea, I take full responsibility for my actions. I regret the situation. I love my son more than any one of you could even imagine.”

Peterson’s appeal hearing is set for Dec. 2 and will be heard by a neutral, third party arbitrator.

Developments surrounding Peterson come during a rough time for the NFL and its dealings with off-the-field issues involving its players.

As the situation surrounding Adrian Peterson approaches its end, fans can be hopeful that the League has turned the page on this unfortunate chapter in its storied history and can zone in on the divisional battles that make the sport so special.

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