The NFLPA is gearing up to fight two massive battles against the league. The union announced on Tuesday that it has filed a motion in Federal Court in the Adrian Peterson matter to hold the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell in contempt of court. The strongly worded statement from NFLPA president Eric Winston is below, in its entirety:
“Today, the players filed a motion in Federal Court in the Adrian Peterson matter because the Commissioner and NFL have deliberately ignored both the Court’s decision from eleven weeks ago and our repeated requests to comply with that order.
On February 26th, the NFL was ordered to change their decision in the Peterson matter and reissue a ruling consistent with our collective bargaining agreement. The Union made multiple requests to the League office asking the arbitrator, who serves at the direction of the Commissioner, to comply with the law and avoid further litigation. Despite our attempts, they have done nothing and leave us no choice but to seek this motion.
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. 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.”
According to the NFLPA’s court filing, attorney Jeffrey Kessler contacted Harold Henderson and NFL counsel and warned them of a possible contempt motion, Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports tweets. League counsel Dan Nash, according to the NFLPA, insisted that Henderson delay any ruling until the 8th Circuit court rules on the appeal, which will take months (link).
The union also goes after the NFL for acting in defiance of court orders by retroactively applying the new personal conduct policy to Greg Hardy (link). If the NFLPA can win this battle regarding Peterson, it could go a long way towards potentially reducing Hardy’s suspension.