His appeal to have an indefinite suspension for personal conduct violation was denied by NFL executive Harold Henderson, appointed by Goodell, effectively ending any hopes he harbored to join a team in the last weeks of the season.
On Nov. 18, Peterson was suspended without pay by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for at least the rest of the season after pleading to a lesser charge in the beating of his six-year-old son, leaving visible abrasions.
Henderson concluded that Peterson “has not demonstrated that the process and procedures surrounding his discipline were not fair and consistent.
“He was afforded all the protections and rights to which he is entitled, and I find no basis to vacate or reduce the discipline.”
Peterson’s salary for this season was $11.75 million. He gets to keep the money accrued while on the exempt list, but the NFL’s punishment amounts to a six-game ban, or the equivalent of a fine of $4.15 million. The Vikings have three regular-season games left. Peterson’s status will be revisited in the spring.
“The facts in this appeal are uncontested. The player entered a plea which effectively admitted guilt to a criminal charge of child abuse,” Henderson wrote, “after inflicting serious injuries to his four-year old son in the course of administering discipline. No direct evidence of the beating was entered in the record here, but numerous court documents, investigative reports, photographs and news reports, all accepted into evidence without objection, make it clear that Mr. Peterson’s conduct was egregious and aggravated as those terms are used in the Policy, and merits substantial discipline.
“His 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. I reject the argument that placement in Commissioner Exempt status is discipline.”
Peterson beat his child to extreme levels and then did not show or express much sorrow for doing so. That did not help him. And he did not attend a meeting with Goodell, a meeting that he was told a tw0-game suspension would be levied. He stayed away because he was unsure of what questions he’d be asked. For real.
So now the top running back in the game will be out until two months after the Super Bowl. Because he’s an enormous talent, he will find a home. But the hope is that this experience has brought him around He certainly has a long time to think about it before he puts on the pads again.