MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Adrian Peterson and his player’s union legal team went into U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Friday seeking to get his suspension overturned.
The NFL handed down the suspension three months ago in response to Peterson pleading no contest to “reckless assault” of his 4-year-old son in Texas.
Arguing before Judge David Doty, NFL Players Association (NFLPA) attorney Jeffrey Kessler said the harsher punishment violates the essence of the league’s collective bargaining agreement.
Kessler told Judge Doty, “You can’t apply the new policy to old behavior.”
Peterson abused his son in May 2014, four months before the NFL’s new personal conduct policy took effect. Under the old policy, Peterson was told he would be receiving a two-game suspension.
But Kessler also told Judge Doty that the league is violating the union contract by imposing discipline before Peterson was even granted a hearing.
Furthermore, Kessler adds that placing Peterson on the commissioner’s exempt list violates the NFL’s own constitution bylaws.
NFL Attorney David Nash took issue with the union claim that league appointed arbitrator, Harold Henderson, was biased when he upheld the punishment on appeal.
Nash stated to Judge Doty, “The suspension was fair and consistent for such egregious conduct.”
When the hour-long hearing of the petition to vacate the arbitration award was over, Peterson stepped outside to address reporters. He clearly stated he wishes to remain with the Minnesota Vikings.
“I really appreciate everyone coming out, showing support. I feel like I got a fair hearing today, and I just really appreciate all the support from my fans,” Peterson said. “It feels good to be in Minnesota.”
Judge Doty thanked both parties for their vigorous arguments and said he will take the matter under advisement. A decision could come in the next several weeks.