Thoughts on the Adrian Peterson Situation

By Alan Schechter

Jul 25, 2014; Mankato, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back

Adrian Peterson

(28) runs through drills at training camp at Minnesota State University. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

So it turns out we won’t being seeing Adrian Peterson in a uniform any time soon. You know what? Good.

If you haven’t heard by now, the NFL announced on Friday that the suspension put on Adrian Peterson has been upheld, and that Peterson’s appeal was denied.  League appeals officer Harold Henderson stated that he didn’t feel Peterson was able to show that the process was unfair to him, so he had no reason to vacate the suspension.  In its current state, with reinstatement in April, the running back would have to miss the first three games.

Peterson and the NFLPA will seek remedy in federal court.

For once, someone is actually getting what they deserve.   I don’t care if the process had technical flaws, the result is the correct one.

I used to think Adrian Peterson had class.  Remember when he fell nine yards short of breaking the rushing record?  When he fell short, he didn’t even know that he came that close.  I thought, “Wow, this guy really has class.  All he cares about is the game.”  I was wrong.

Furthermore, if we never see him in a football uniform, it will be too soon.  The NFLPA has talked about how the case has been handled wrong.  The only thing that is wrong about this situation is the fact that it will be kept in our minds for many more months, as the NFLPA inevitably takes the NFL to court.

They go to court on behalf of a child abuser.  Great message guys.  It makes me proud to be a fan.

Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in attendance Super Bowl XLVII between the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, the whole attitude stinks. This country is littered with guilty people arguing their way, often successfully, out of punishments because the process was flawed. It’s more commonly known as “getting off on a technicality”. The last act of a guilty person is to argue the problems with how they were handled. Peterson and DeMaurice Smith can’t argue for innocence, we all know that Adrian Peterson is guilty. What does he have left? The process was unfair.

I don’t want union members coming after me, telling me that I am missing the point about unions. I understand, and know they have an importance place. I wish there was one as part of my workplace. Union members rights are important. But why can’t we balance that with the greater good once in a while? Is that too much to ask?

Adrian Peterson struck his child with a stick. There is no denying that. NFL players are idolized by children. Instead of fighting it, why not just own up to what you did? DeMaurice Smith, why not take on the greater responsibility of setting an example, and letting Peterson man up? Do we have to teach children that they can do whatever they want and fight hard enough to make it go away?

The NFLPA represents all players, not just Adrian Peterson. Act like it.

Dec 10, 2014; Irving, TX, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the media at the Las Colinas Four Seasons Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Roger Goodell has stuck his neck out on the line with his recent disciplinary situations. He tried to compensate for a weak punishment for Ray Rice, and he got caught. But with Adrian Peterson, he is doing the right thing.

Let’s talk about the NFLPA statement, following the Peterson decision. Take a look:

The NFLPA expected this outcome, given the hearing officer’s relationship and financial ties to the NFL. The decision itself ignores the facts, the evidence and the collective bargaining agreement. This decision also represents the NFL’s repeated failure to adhere to due process and confirms its inconsistent treatment of players. Our union is considering immediate legal remedies.

Well, which part of the CBA did they ignore? Did he have a hearing? Yes. He didn’t meet his burden. Well, what about the hearing officer? The statement mentions that the union expected this based on the officer’s relationship to the NFL. Let’s look at the relevant point in the CBA, where it talks about how the appeals officer is chosen:

Hearing Officers. For appeals under Section 1(a) above, the Commissioner shall, after consultation with the Executive Director of the NFLPA, appoint one or more designees to serve as hearing officers.

So, Adrian Peterson got a hearing, with an officer that was selected by the terms of the CBA. It would help if DeMaurice Smith would READ the CBA before accusing the league of breaking it.

As our friend Sean Durham would say, “Child, please.”

Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes for 21 yards against the Chicago Bears in overtime at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. Vikings win 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, look at the timing, and where we are now.

Now that we are near the end of the season, what exactly is the point? It’s not as if Peterson needs the money. By his own admission, he still made $8 million this season. Wow, my heart bleeds for this admitted child abuser. How is he going to live on that? We had better get him back in the sport right away so he can rebuild his life. If we, in our jobs, abused a child, we wouldn’t avoid JAIL TIME, much less be able to go back to our current jobs.

If the case goes forward, let’s say it gets heard in late January. Forget that, let’s say early January. Testimony is taken, and by the end of January, say the ruling goes in Peterson’s favor. What exactly does he get back? Three games at the beginning of 2015? The league has said he will be reinstated in April as long as he behaves himself. Why goes through all of this to save three games? Do your time and get over yourself.

And, there is question as to whether or not this is what Peterson wants. Listen to what he had to say:

“I’ve considered retiring from the NFL,” Peterson said. “I still made $8 million dollars this year. I’ve thought about getting back into the real estate (business in Texas) I’m already in. That’s something I’ve been interested in, something I’m involved in. I’ve thought about getting back into that. I’ve thought about going after the Olympics — you only live once. It might be time for me to pursue that, as well. I love playing football, don’t get me wrong, but this situation is deeper than that.”

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So, the NFLPA may be acting on something Peterson is not even totally behind.

Let the child abuser do his time, and come back or don’t come back. Who cares? The league doesn’t need him.