NFL suspends Vikings' Adrian Peterson and his attorney responds

November 19, 2014

Adrian Peterson was notified Tuesday that he has been suspended without pay for at least the remainder of the 2014 NFL season. In response, his attorney had some strongly-worded comments for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In a letter to Peterson, Commissioner Roger Goodell identified several aggravating circumstances present in this case:

“First, the injury was inflicted on a child who was only four years old.  The difference in size and strength between you and the child is significant, and your actions clearly caused physical injury to the child...Second, the repetitive use of a switch in this instance is the functional equivalent of a weapon, particularly in the hands of someone with the strength of an accomplished professional athlete...Third, you have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct..."

The Minnesota Vikings organization issued merely a recognition of Goodell's decision: "The NFL has informed the Vikings of today’s decision regarding Adrian Peterson. We respect the league’s decision and will have no further comment at this time."

However, Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, was hardly so passive.

On ESPN’s Mike & Mike radio show earlier today, Hardin responded to the NFL’s decision to suspend the Minnesota Vikings running back without pay for the rest of the season.

“Goodell’s statement, to be so hypocritically self-righteous about Adrian not showing significant remorse. Who in the hell does he think he is?” Hardin said. “And now the NFL has decided that they are going to be the arbiter of what is appropriate discipline for a child and whether a person is or is not feeling significant remorse...It’s just unbelievable. There’s no precedent for it. Really, so, discipline of a child now and whether somebody makes a mistake like that is going to be decided by the NFL with their history?”

Hardin pointed out that while Peterson was obviously at fault for excessively disciplining his 4-year old child, he was not actually convicted of child abuse, but rather a lesser charge.
Perhaps alluding to his client’s damaged reputation or lost endorsements (or both), Hardin also pointed out that his client had received counseling and expressed the opinion that Peterson had already been sufficiently punished.
“This man has paid a tremendous price for making a mistake in spanking his son. When is enough, enough? I would suggest enough was enough a long time ago. This is a good man who believed he was doing the right thing in raising his child and made a mistake in the process. He left no lasting injury. [A man] who has now entered the criminal justice system, who has been in the social services system…The NFL didn’t need to do another thing. We’re supposed to give people second chances, not just self-righteously blast them repeatedly.”
Hardin further suggested that the commissioner was excessively punishing Peterson in order to make-up for the recent public relations nightmare that followed the NFL’s handling of former Ravens RB Ray Rice domestic violence case.
“When it’s over, there is nothing the NFL is doing here except trying to make up for the horrible way they’ve handled domestic violence — which this was not. So all they’re doing is trying to curry favor with the public by issuing a self-serving statement, which is unbelievably self-righteous, from a man who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” 

By Staff of 

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