The Vitriolist: The NFL Is Smart To Take Its Time Deciding Adrian Peterson's Fate

Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL reviews Adrian Peterson's case under its new code-of-conduct policy, Jane McManus says the league can't rush to judgment in what will be a precedent-setting decision.

The NFL is starting to find out that revising a code-of-conduct policy is a complicated process.

Last week, Adrian Peterson pleaded his felony child abuse charge down to a misdemeanor and the league began its review under its new code-of-conduct policy.

The NFL Players Association soon notified the league it was filing a grievance to have Peterson removed from the commissioner's exempt list, which the union says was part of the agreement when Peterson was placed on the list. That hearing will take place next week.

So, things are complicated.

An epic power struggle is underway between the NFL and the union. What happens with Ray Rice and Peterson will establish precedent under the new system. The union wants to make sure players are treated fairly, and the NFL doesn't want the damage of having public abusers in uniform on Sunday.

When it comes to determining a fair outcome, there is a balance. No player should be denied the right to play without cause, but Peterson has apologized for "the hurt I have brought to my child" after disciplining him earlier this year. His son suffered cuts, marks and bruising on his body. Because of this, the NFL's new training program addresses discipline and notes that leaving injury is a sign that discipline has become abuse.

The NFL is making the right call in taking its time to review the case.

Too often, the standard for leagues in cases of player violence has been what the legal outcome was. But what should determine any discipline by the league isn't the code-of-conduct violation. It's the act of violence itself.

What happened? What did he do? If a league asks players not to commit acts of violence and Rice is caught on an elevator camera punching then-fiancée Janay Palmer, the fact that she declined to press charges is beside the point.

It's the punch. It's the abuse a child sustained at the hand of a father. Those are the violations, and that is what should be at issue when the league decides what falls under the policy.

Sometimes facts may be difficult to discern. Sometimes there may be two people who have different versions of events. But if the NFL has decided it will hold players to a higher standard, and it has, then it has to do its best to determine the facts.

Think of how helpful that would have been in the Rice case.

The NFL looked the other way for years, an OTL report that aired Tuesday night found. From 2000 to 2014, 48 players were considered guilty of domestic violence under the league policy. Of those, 27 received no suspension and 15 were suspended for one game.

That's unacceptable. This delay means someone has to wait this time, but both the union and the NFL need to work out a process they can rely upon going forward.

And now for my more traditional rants:

I went to a doctor's office looking for a flu shot, and I was told it didn't have any and to check the local pharmacy. This is now status quo, and it's puzzling to me. Instead of going to a physician, we're asked to pick up our critical vaccinations at the same place we can pick up a 2-liter bottle of soda, maybe a pack of cigarettes and beef jerky. How did this happen?! Next up: yearly dental exam at your local deli. Whitefish and whitening in one stop.

I love Chelsea Handler's response to the Kim Kardashian cover. (Just Google it.)

This is a strong piece about Hope Solo, her past and the present charges she faces. How is she different from, or similar to, other alleged abusers?

A hearty congratulations to the Gotham Girls Roller Derby for winning the Women's Flat Track Derby Association title -- again! I watched the finals with some of my roller derby teammates, and we were amazed at just how dominant jammers Suzy Hotrod and Bonnie Thunders have been for so long.

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