Court rules for NFL in case against RB Peterson

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a district court’s ruling that had overturned Adrian Peterson‘s suspension and fine, which resulted when the Minnesota Vikings running back pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge after injuring his son while meting out corporal punishment.

Peterson now is liable for the fine, but the appeal “does not involve his eligibility to play.” So Peterson remains with the Vikings in camp as they prepare for their Sept. 11 season opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed an indefinite suspension of Peterson and a fine equivalent to six games’ pay in November 2014. Those were upheld by arbitrator Harold Henderson.

In February 2015, a federal judge decided that Goodell should not have penalized Peterson, who committed his infraction before the NFL’s new personal conduct policy went into effect, and reversed the arbitrator’s ruling.

However, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says “the parties bargained to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator, and the arbitrator acted within his authority.”

This latest ruling, following a decision by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Tom Brady‘s suspension in the Deflategate case, bolsters the NFL and Goodell’s power regarding player discipline under the collective bargaining agreement.

Information from ESPN’s Ben Goessling was used in this report.

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