The NFL Players Association has asked Roger Goodell to recuse himself from the appeals process of Adrian Peterson as he seeks reinstatement in the league.
“The NFL is making up the process and punishment as it goes–a blatant violation of the CBA [collective-bargaining agreement], Mr. Peterson’s industrial due process rights, and any notion of fundamental fairness,” reads a letter from the union to the commissioner.
The commissioner placed Peterson on the league’s “exempt” list, enabling the 2012 NFL MVP to earn pay as he sat out games and practices until he resolved his case, after the running back’s indictment on a child abuse charge in September. Despite reaching a plea deal that convicted him of a misdemeanor, Peterson finds himself now indefinitely suspended and out more than $4 million.”To date, no first-time offender of an NFL disciplinary policy–like Mr. Peterson–has served more than a two-game suspension for an act of domestic violence,” the letter notes.
A double standard brought about through media pressure, the league devising stricter punishments for transgressions committed long before the promulgation of the new rules, and a failure to live up the collective-bargaining agreement’s restrictions on process represent the thrust of the union’s argument.
The “Dear Roger” letter, signed by NFLPA chief counsel Tom DePaso, notes that the commissioner’s “November 18 discipline letter expressly imposes discipline on Mr. Peterson pursuant to the August 28 Policy–enacted after all of the conduct at issue occurred. Well-established principles of just cause and industrial due process require prior notice of consequences for an employee’s actions and prohibit such ex post facto punishment.”