Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, in a statement through the NFL Players Association, denied that he backed out of Friday’s hearing and claimed the pre-discipline meeting wasn’t part of the collective bargaining agreement.
The NFLPA release the lengthy statement on Sunday morning after a report was released by ESPN said the 2012 NFL MVP and the NFLPA did not attend a meeting scheduled by the NFL to further investigate Peterson’s felony charge of injury to a child. He pleaded no contest to a reckless assault misdemeanor last week.
Peterson will miss his ninth game this season when the Vikings face the Bears as he sits on the exempt list. Peterson awaits a conference call on Monday between the NFLPA, the NFL and arbitrator Shyam Das that will determine whether he will be reinstated to the Vikings based off an agreement made with the NFL.
Here’s Peterson’s entire statement, released by the NFLPA:
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. 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.