It doesn’t matter what you think of Adrian Peterson. It doesn’t matter if you think he should be hung, drawn, and quartered for the crime of overdisciplining his son, for which he has already been dealt the legal consequences. All that matters is the basic legal principle that the worse commissioner in NFL history, Roger Goodell, violated, the principle of retroactivity:
The 16-page ruling from Judge David Doty that reinstates Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turns on one fairly simple conclusion: The NFL cannot apply its new personal conduct policy retroactively.
“There is no dispute that the Commissioner imposed Peterson’s discipline under the New Policy,” Judge Doty wrote. “It is also undisputed that in the [Ray] Rice arbitration, the hearing officer unequivocally recognized that the New Policy cannot be applied retroactively, notwithstanding the Commissioner’s broad discretion in meting out punishment under the CBA. . . . Consistent with that recognition, the Commissioner has acknowledged that he did not have the power to retroactively apply the New Policy: ‘The policy change was forward looking because the League is “required to provide proper notice.”‘ . . . Yet, just two weeks later, the Commissioner retroactively applied the New Policy to Peterson.”
In other words, Judge Doty concluded that the NFL was making it up as went along.
This is further evidence that the Sports Guy was right and Goodell is a dishonest man who is overmatched by his responsibilities, overly concerned with PR details that he should leave well alone, and fundamentally out of control. As for those who feign concern for women and children, and claim that the likes of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson should be prevented from making a living, how can anyone possibly pretend that removing the ability of those who support them to do so going to help the victims of these petty domestic crimes.
And they are petty. It may, depending upon the circumstances, be wrong to punch a woman once. It is certainly too harsh to spank a child until he bleeds. But in a nation where not one single banker has been jailed despite the theft of literal trillions of dollars for a wide variety of shamelessly dishonest acts, it is ludicrous to pretend that these are the serious crimes that demand more significant punishments.