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Adrian Peterson: NFL ignoring CBA

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Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson on Sunday denied that he backed out of a scheduled disciplinary hearing with the NFL on Friday, saying the league is trying to "impose a new process of discipline on me" and circumvent the collective bargaining agreement.

"The report that I backed out of a meeting with the NFL is just not true. When Roger Goodell's office asked that I attend the 'hearing' on Friday, I consulted with my union and learned that this 'hearing' was something new and inconsistent with the CBA," he said in a statement released Sunday morning.

"The process they are pushing is arbitrary, inconsistent, and contrary to what they agreed to do, and for those reasons, I never agreed to the hearing. I'm sorry for all of this, but I can't excuse their refusal to be fair."

Adrian Peterson

Peterson claims that the NFL was late to respond to questions about the nature of Friday's hearing in connection to his child-abuse case in Texas despite the NFL Players Association's repeated attempts to gain clarity from the league.

"On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this past week, my union sent emails, letters, and had conversations with [Goodell's] office on my behalf asking about the nature of the hearing, how it was to occur, who would participate, and its purpose," Peterson said. "We repeatedly asked them to respond quickly to my questions because I want to cooperate and get back on the field, but they didn't respond until late Wednesday evening, and even then they didn't answer important questions about their proposed 'hearing.'

"After consulting with the union, I told the NFL that I will attend the standard meeting with the commissioner prior to possible imposition of discipline, as has been the long-term practice under the CBA, but I wouldn't participate in a newly created and non-collectively bargained pre-discipline 'hearing' that would include outside people I don't know and who would have roles in the process that the NFL wouldn't disclose."

Peterson says the NFL is acting unfair in his case.

"At this point, I've resolved my matter in the criminal court; I've worked to make amends for what I've done; I've missed most of the season, and I stand ready to be candid and forthcoming with Mr. Goodell about what happened," he said. "However, I will not allow the NFL to impose a new process of discipline on me, ignore the CBA, ignore the deal they agreed to with me, and behave without fairness or accountability.

"The process they are pushing is arbitrary, inconsistent, and contrary to what they agreed to do, and for those reasons, I never agreed to the hearing. I'm sorry for all of this, but I can't excuse their refusal to be fair."

While there is no definite timetable on a decision to determine whether he should be reinstated immediately, the NFL is deliberating on discipline for Peterson and it could come as early as Monday, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Sunday.

Friday's scheduled hearing was a different, more significant one than the conference call set for 2 p.m. ET Monday, when Peterson's grievance relating to remaining on the commissioner's exempt list will be heard. The Friday meeting was the one that would have been for a disciplinary decision on Peterson's past and future.

The Friday meeting initially was scheduled last Tuesday, but the NFLPA told the league Thursday that it was unavailable that day, a league official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Had the hearing happened on Friday, the NFL could have ruled, but it would not have nullified Monday's grievance hearing.