Union wants NFL, Goodell held in contempt in Peterson case

Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL Players Association filed a motion Tuesday to have the NFL and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell held in contempt of court over their handling of Adrian Peterson's suspension.

In paperwork filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, the NFLPA accuses the NFL and Goodell of ignoring a federal judge's decision in February to overturn an appeal ruling made against the Minnesota Vikings running back despite the union's repeated requests to do so.

"The delay tactics, inconsistencies and arbitrary decision making of the league has continued to hurt the rights of players, the credibility of the league office and the integrity of the collective bargaining agreement," the union said in a statement.

"In the absence of any action by the NFL's governing board of owners, the players have acted to hold the NFL accountable to our players, the CBA and to the law."

Peterson was placed on the commissioner's exempt list in September after he was charged in Texas with hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch last May. After reaching a plea agreement in the case, Peterson was suspended by Goodell in November for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The suspension was based on a more stringent player conduct policy that was agreed upon after the actions that led to the charges against Peterson.

Arguing that the new policy shouldn't be retroactively applied in Peterson's case, the union filed an appeal on behalf of the running back, which was denied by NFL-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson in December.

The union then filed a federal lawsuit, leading to a ruling by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty in February that ordered the NFL to change its decision in Peterson's case.

The NFL appealed the decision to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and returned Peterson to the commissioner's exempt list before reinstating him last month.

In the motion filed Tuesday, the union asks that the NFL order Henderson to rule again on Peterson's appeal as soon as possible and to stop advocating that it be decided under the new personal conduct policy.

The union also asks that the NFL be ordered to stop retroactively applying the new conduct policy to cases that occurred before it was in place, citing the 10-game suspension of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy last month over previous domestic abuse charges.