U.S. District Judge David Doty rules that an NFL arbitrator failed to meet his duty in Peterson’s child abuse case. This ruling sends the case back for further proceedings. Doty says the NFL arbitrator “simply disregarded the law of the shop and in doing so failed to meet his duty” under the collective bargaining agreement. The issue was how the enhanced personal conduct policy (which increases a suspension for players involved with domestic violence from two games to six games) was applied in Peterson’s case. Because this policy was implemented after the injuries occurred to Peterson’s son, the NFLPA argued that the prior standard of punishment should apply. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says in a statement that the decision is a “victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness.”
Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players’ rights. This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game.