On Tuesday, the NFL suspended Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. On Wednesday, the NFLPA appealed the suspension on his behalf.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA raises two primary arguments in support of the appeal. First, the union argues that the NFL has applied a different standard to conduct that occurred before the NFL revised the domestic violence and sexual assault policy on August 28. Attorneys call that ex post facto lawmaking, Latin for “after the fact.”
Second, the NFLPA describes the punishment of Peterson as “wildly disparate” in comparison to past punishments imposed on other players. The union points to the six-game suspension imposed Tuesday and the nine games missed while on paid leave.
The union also has asked that Commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself as the appeal officer in the case, pointing to alleged partiality and bias. Specifically, the NFLPA contends that the criticism that has been directed to Goodell and the NFL in recent months regarding the handling of off-field misconduct makes it impossible for him to be properly objective and unbiased.
The letter initiating the appeal also includes a lengthy summary of the facts, which includes a contention that executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent told both Peterson and his agent (presumably Ben Dogra) that “the time Mr. Peterson agreed not to be on the football field would be considered ‘time served’ if and when the NFL assessed discipline against Mr. Peterson.” This expands the potential dispute over what Vincent did or didn’t say from one-against-one to two-against-one.