NFL reinstate Peterson

The Minnesota Vikings running back was suspended in November, when he pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless assault stemming from an incident in which he disciplined his four-year-old son by hitting him with a tree branch.

That suspension was overturned by a US District Court in February after the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) successfully argued that the ban was not valid as it applied the standards of the league’s new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to an incident which took place before the policy was revised.

However, he was not immediately cleared to return as the judge ruled he was subject to the disciplinary standards of the old CBA.

In Thursday’s announcement, Peterson was reminded of his responsibilities both within and beyond the NFL.

The NFL statement said: “In a letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell, Peterson was informed that he is expected to fulfill his remaining obligations to the authorities in Minnesota and Texas, as well as the additional commitments Peterson made during his April 7 meeting with the commissioner regarding maintaining an ongoing program of counseling and treatment as recommended by medical advisors.

“Beyond the requirement to comply with his court obligations and plan of counseling, Peterson was reminded that his continuing participation in the NFL depends on his avoidance of any further conduct that violates the Personal Conduct Policy or other NFL policies. Any further violation of the Personal Conduct Policy by Peterson would result in additional discipline, which could include suspension without pay or banishment from the NFL.”

The original incident involving Peterson’s son occurred last May. Peterson pleaded no contest on November 4 in state court in Montgomery County, Texas to reckless assault of the child.

The overturning of his ban in February was another embarrassing episode for the NFL in its attempts to deal with off-the-field disciplinary cases, coming after former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice successfully appealed against his indefinite suspension for assaulting his then-fiancee and now-wife Janay Palmer last year.