Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sacked again

Perhaps the best running back in the NFL over the past several seasons has been thrown for a loss again.

All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson's appeal of a league suspension for a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy has been denied, the league announced Friday.

Peterson's appeal was heard by former NFL executive Harold Henderson last week in Washington, D.C. Henderson was appointed by commissioner Roger Goodell as arbitrator to hear the sides' cases and issue a ruling.

An aside here. Upon hearing the name "Harold Henderson," does anyone else think of this?

Anyhow, back to the business at hand.

In upholding the NFL's initial ruling, Henderson concluded that Peterson "has not demonstrated that the process and procedures surrounding his discipline were not fair and consistent."

Wrote Henderson: "He was afforded all the protections and rights to which he is entitled, and I find no basis to vacate or reduce the discipline."

This should come as no surprise, given that the Commissioner's office had been given tremendous power to mete out discipline upon players violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy. Again, the players can in part thank their own union for not putting enough emphasis on that issue during the most recent collective bargaining session a few years ago.

One issue that the Peterson camp continued to broach was their claim that NFL executive VP for football operations Troy Vincent allegedly told AP that once his case is adjudicated in court, his time on the Commissioner Exempt list would count as "time served." Vincent had denied making that promise. However, even if he had said such a thing, it would have likely been decided that he lacked the authority to make such a decision. Besides, missing several games with pay can hardly constitute "discipline." Peterson even gets to keep the money that accumulated while he was on the exempt list.

As a Vikings fan, I'm just glad this is over. While I thoroughly enjoyed watching Peterson play for my favorite NFL team for seven seasons, I have to admit that I find it difficult to enjoy watching a pro athlete who I know has engaged in heinous off-field activities. As such, I'm not all that broken up over the fact that Peterson has likely played his final game in a Vikings uniform.


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