The NFL has recently incurred a large public backlash due to the arrests of high profile running backs Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. Following an indictment on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child, the Minnesota Vikings deactivated Peterson for their Week 2 matchup with the New England Patriots. After the game the team announced that Peterson would return to practice and be active for the Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints. However, the decision was criticized further and sponsors such as the Raddison hotel chain began to pull out of their endorsements with the Vikings. Co-owner Zygil Wilf then changed course and, with league approval, placed Peterson on the Commissioner’s exempt list until Peterson’s legal situation is resolved. Peterson will be paid his salary while on the exempt list, but will not be included on the active roster. This raises concerns about what role the NFL should play in adjudication of its players as the criminal charges against Peterson have yet to run their course. Peterson’s team is seeking an expedited trial in the hopes of him returning to the field in a timely fashion. For more information please on this story please refer to CNN and the NFL.
Jason Fixelle is a current student at Harvard Law School (Class of 2016).