Peterson issues statement, fires back at NFL

Adrian Peterson said in a statement that the NFL is trying to impose a “new process of discipline” on him, but he would cooperate at his “standard” Monday hearing.

Adrian Peterson is firing back after the NFL told several media outlets that the Minnesota Vikings star running back didn’t attend a hearing Friday that the NFL requested.

“We had hoped that Adrian would take advantage of his opportunity to be heard and present whatever information he believes should be considered before a decision on discipline, counseling and services is made,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Associated Press. “Because he and the NFLPA elected not to do so, we will have to address this based on the information currently available to us.”

The meeting was scheduled because the NFL was seeking information from Peterson and his representatives regarding his child abuse case in Texas, which resulted in Peterson pleading no contest to a lesser change of misdemeanor reckless assault. Peterson’s representatives and even the lead prosecutor in the case, Phil Grant, say they are unable to provide the NFL details of the case because the court file was sealed as soon as Judge Kelly Case accepted Peterson’s plea.

Peterson issued a statement defending his decision to not attend Friday’s meeting.

“The report that I backed out of a meeting with the NFL is just not true. When Roger Goodell’s office asked that I attend the ‘hearing’ on Friday, I consulted with my union and learned that this ‘hearing’ was something new and inconsistent with the CBA,” Peterson said in a statement issued by the NFL Players Association. “On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this past week, my union sent emails, letters, and had conversations with his office on my behalf asking about the nature of the hearing, how it was to occur, who would participate, and its purpose. We repeatedly asked them to respond quickly to my questions because I want to cooperate and get back on the field, but they didn’t respond until late Wednesday evening, and even then they didn’t answer important questions about their proposed ‘hearing.’

“After consulting with the union, I told the NFL that I will attend the standard meeting with the Commissioner prior to possible imposition of discipline, as has been the long-term practice under the CBA, but I wouldn’t participate in a newly created and non-collectively bargained pre-discipline ‘hearing’ that would include outside people I don’t know and who would have roles in the process that the NFL wouldn’t disclose. At this point, I’ve resolved my matter in the criminal court; I’ve worked to make amends for what I’ve done; I’ve missed most of the season, and I stand ready to be candid and forthcoming with Mr. Goodell about what happened. However, I will not allow the NFL to impose a new process of discipline on me, ignore the CBA, ignore the deal they agreed to with me, and behave without fairness or accountability. The process they are pushing is arbitrary, inconsistent, and contrary to what they agreed to do, and for those reasons, I never agreed to the hearing.

“I’m sorry for all of this, but I can’t excuse their refusal to be fair.”


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