According to USA Today, the suit, which was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, requests the court abandon appeals officer Harold Henderson‘s decision to uphold Peterson’s suspension and immediately reinstate the Minnesota Vikings star.
Arguments the NFLPA posted on its website from the redacted included the fact that Henderson’s decision Friday “”was rendered by an evidently partial arbitrator who exceeded the scope of his authority” as well as claims that Peterson was punished retroactively under updates to the personal conduct policy Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in August and was subjected to a disciplinary process that wasn’t collectively bargained.
USA Today noted that Henderson worked in the NFL office for roughly two decades, in addition to the last part of the NFLPA’s filing which has the union and Peterson requesting “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.”
The NFLPA federal lawsuit is the latest development surrounding Peterson’s suspension. Last month, the 29-year-old athlete pled no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge for injuring his 4-year-old son in May while disciplining him with a wooden switch.
In a discipline letter from Nov. 18, NFL commissioner Goodell’s discipline stated that Peterson would be eligible for reinstatement no sooner than April 15, 2015. Since the case surfaced, Peterson has not played since the Viking’s season opener. Instead, he has spent most of the season on paid leave.
The NFLPA’s arguments were rejected by Henderson in a two-day appeals hearing this month as he labeled Peterson’s actions as “arguably one of the most egregious cases of domestic violence” in Goodell’s nine-year stint as commissioner.
In his decision, Henderson took to heart Goodell’s letter as he echoed the sentiment that Peterson’s “public comments do not reflect remorse or appreciation for the seriousness of his actions and their impact on his family, community, fans and the NFL, although at the close of the hearing he said he has learned from his mistake, he regrets that it happened and it will never happen again.”
For his part, Peterson vowed in a Nov. 20 USA Today Sports interview that he recently reconnected with his sons and vowed to never use a switch again.