The NFL announced this morning that it will suspend Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings running back who recently pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge after being accused of child abuse, for at least the rest of this season. Peterson “will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15, 2015,” ESPN reports.
Peterson was accused of injuring his 4-year-old son by hitting him with a switch and has not played in an NFL game since Sept. 7.
The NFL’s statement includes a chastising letter written to Peterson by commissioner Roger Goodell. The commissioner has written and released such letters in the past, though this appears to be the first time he’s done so since his own moral standing was heavily scrutinized during the scandal surrounding Ray Rice’s domestic violence arrest:
“You have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct,” Goodell’s letter said. “When indicted, you acknowledged what you did but said that you would not ‘eliminate whooping my kids’ and defended your conduct in numerous published text messages to the child’s mother. You also said that you felt ‘very confident with my actions because I know my intent.’
(The “whooping my kids” comment comes from an interview Houston police conducted with Peterson.)
The NFL Players Association says it will appeal the suspension. “Our initial reaction is that the process that the NFL has employed since the beginning of the season has been arbitrary, inconsistent, and uneven,” Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said on ESPN Radio this morning. “You get the feeling that the NFL, over the past few months, has been simply making it up as they go along.”