Vincent: No regrets about Peterson conversations
Published 10:33 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Troy Vincent said he visited Adrian Peterson at his Texas home, held one of his sons on his lap and offered guidance to open the door toward getting the former NFL MVP back on track and on the field after resolving child abuse charges.
But things spiraled out of control and now the NFL’s executive vice president for football operations finds his interactions with the Minnesota Vikings star at the center of a legal dispute between the NFL Players Association, the league and Peterson after their backchannel, informal conversations became public.
Peterson and the union argued unsuccessfully during an arbitration hearing that Vincent promised the running back would be suspended two additional games beyond those he missed. The arbiter ruled no promises were made and Vincent says he was simply trying to give Peterson information so he could make smarter decisions.
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“I visited Adrian, not from my position or title, but to talk about how he was doing, how his children were, whether he was getting the help he needed,” Vincent told The Associated Press on Monday. “My Christian faith tells me that when I see someone in need and it’s within my ability to reach out and lend a helping hand, I should do so. I felt like in speaking to Adrian, I might be able to help him get through this. I needed to touch him and look in his eyes and tell him we can get through this together.”
Vincent, a former All-Pro cornerback and union president, said he sat down with Peterson at his home on Nov. 10, eight days before Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him without pay for the last six games of this season and through at least April 15.
Peterson pleaded no contest in Texas to misdemeanor reckless assault Nov. 4 for physically disciplining his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. Peterson received probation time, community service and a small fine as part of a deal that will remove the misdemeanor from his record if he completes the requirements without incident.
An arbiter upheld the suspension Friday. The NFLPA filed a federal lawsuit Monday for Peterson, asking the court to dismiss that ruling.
“We obviously filed a lawsuit because those conversations were explicitly inconsistent with the discipline,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told the AP. Peterson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.