Adrian Peterson, one of NFL's most talented players, has been benched. The NFL announced Tuesday, Nov. 18, that the Minnesota Vikings running back has been suspended for the remainder of the season without pay.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell explained his decision in a letter, writing that Peterson displayed a lack of "meaningful remorse" in his child abuse case, in which the football star was accused of using a wooden switch to beat his 4-year-old son.
"First, the injury was inflicted on a child who was only four years old," Goodell, 55, wrote. "The difference in size and strength between you and the child is significant, and your actions clearly caused physical injury to the child. While an adult may have a number of options when confronted with abuse — to flee, to fight back, or to seek help from law enforcement — none of those options is realistically available to a four-year-old child. Further, the injury inflicted on your son includes the emotional and psychological trauma to a young child who suffers criminal physical abuse at the hands of his father."
"Second, the repetitive use of a switch in this instance is the functional equivalent of a weapon," Goodell continued, "particularly in the hands of someone with the strength of an accomplished professional athlete."
The NFL head went on to slam Peterson for his conduct after he was indicted this past September before a grand jury for causing injury to his child. "Third, you have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct," Goodell wrote. "When indicted, you acknowledged what you did but said that you would not 'eliminate whooping my kids' and defended your conduct in numerous published text messages to the child's mother. You also said that you felt 'very confident with my actions because I know my intent.' These comments raise the serious concern that you do not fully appreciate the seriousness of your conduct, or even worse, that you may feel free to engage in similar conduct in the future."
Peterson, 29, was also told he would be suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2014 NFL season. According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the suspension will cost Peterson close to $4 million.
Peterson's suspension will continue through April 15, 2015, when he is eligible for reinstatement. Goodell added that any further violation of the league's code of personal conduct will result in "banishment from the NFL."
In the meantime, the NFL head said he would meet with representatives of the NFL Players Association, to check and see if Peterson was going through with a "two-step" process of receiving counseling and therapy treatment.
The NFLPA, though, responded Tuesday saying Peterson plans to appeal Goodell's punishment. "The decision by the NFL to suspend Adrian Peterson is another example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements they make and the actions they take," the Players Association said in a statement. "Since Adrian's legal matter was adjudicated, the NFL has ignored their obligations and attempted to impose a new and arbitrary disciplinary proceeding."
According to the statement, Peterson previously was told by an NFL executive that his time on the Commissioner's list "would be considered as time served."
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