sports culture

The delusion of Adrian Peterson’s defense (w/Hope Solo note)

Adrian Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, just issued one of the most specious arguments ever uttered on cable television. And that’s saying something.

Hardin complained that the NFL was trying to punish Peterson beyond what the legal system already did. There’s “no precedent” for such a thing, Hardin said.

I’m sure that statement came as a surprise to:

– Any employee ever fired for flunking a drug test.

– Any employee ever fired for verbally accosting a co-worker. (I actually got a job that way. Someone totally flipped out and got fired, and I moved into his position.)

– Richard Nixon. Legal system? Pardoned. His presidency? Finished.

A few more good examples:

It boggles my mind that lawyers, like political pundits and politicians themselves, think they can make such absurd statements and get away with it.

Why did I mention Hope Solo in the headline? Because her case could end up with a similar question of the courts’ authority and her employers’ authority.

Let’s be clear: We’re not comparing Peterson’s actions with whatever Solo did. As a parent, I’m far more concerned with what Peterson did that what is alleged and not yet even proved against Solo.

But in terms of the process, there’s a similarity in this sense: An athlete can absolutely get one punishment from the legal system and another from an employer.

When Solo finally ends up in court for something beyond a preliminary hearing, we’re going to get something more than just a verdict. We’ll get details that will be examined and cross-examined.

So would there be “precedent” for Solo facing no substantial punishment from the courts and still being suspended for a couple of games by U.S. Soccer? Absolutely.

Would that happen? Probably not. But that’s just how I think U.S. Soccer will act. Not a decision based on “precedent.”

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Categories: sports culture

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1 reply »

  1. Lawyers think they can get away with seemingly-absurd statements because they are (by and large) very careful with their words and phrasing. What Hardin said was that there is no precedent for the *NFL* to sanction a player for committing a crime beyond the punishment imposed by law. He didn’t say there was no precedent for that to happen *anywhere*.

    Sure it’s a ridiculous argument – for precisely the reasons you cite – but it falls into the category of zealous representation, not blatant falsehood.

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