Lawsuit filed against NFL on behalf of Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson
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Adrian Peterson

The National Football League Players Association filed a lawsuit on Monday morning against the NFL on behalf of Adrian Peterson, in an effort to have him reinstated. The union's suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, challenges an arbitrator's support of the NFL's decision to suspend Peterson.

The Minnesota Vikings running back was suspended indefinitely after he entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge last month, after Peterson allegedly used a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ruled that Peterson can't be reinstated before April 15 and is suspended for the six games left in this season.

Peterson appealed the suspension, and last week arbitrator Harold Henderson backed the NFL's penalty. The NFLPA said in a release that it "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."

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The NFLPA's lawsuit claims that Henderson, a onetime NFL executive, may have been biased in his decision due to his former ties to the league. The union's suit wants the court to dismiss Henderson's decision.

The suit is seeking "that this court vacate the arbitration award in its entirety and grant such other and further relief as the court may deem just and proper, including an order declaring that Mr. Peterson is entitled immediately to be reinstated as a player in the National Football League because he has already served far more than the maximum two-game suspension that could have been imposed under the CBA."

After the Peterson and Ray Rice cases, NFL owners unanimously passed a more extensive, stricter punishment policy that places a suspension of six games without pay for players with sexual assault, child abuse, battery, domestic violence, and assault violations. Before the new policy, the minimum punishment was two games.

Peterson may be considering retirement from the NFL, according to reports.