Adrian Peterson Should Not Be Playing in the NFL During Child Abuse Investigation

Adrian PetersonWe got the disturbing news last week that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse after his own 4-year-old son was found with multiple wounds from an alleged "whooping" by the NFL star.

The football player doesn't deny that the "spanking" took place, nor that he used a switch to do it, but the injuries to the boy seemed far beyond what most people would consider acceptable corporal punishment. The NFL initially suspended him while the charges were being investigated, but has since changed their minds and decided that Peterson can play, despite the child abuse charges.


The Vikings announced Monday that even though Peterson sat out Sunday's game against the New England Patriots, he will be training with the team this week, and is expected to play in next Sunday's game.

Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf released a statement defending their position, saying:

To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.

Um ... this guy allegedly abused his child. He admits to using a switch on him, and there are doctors' reports with photographs showing the severity of the child's injuries. Of course everyone is innocent until proven guilty in this blessed country of ours, but these allegations seem like more than enough to keep Peterson off the field until the charges can be cleared up.

For his part, Peterson has finally released a statement of his own about the charges. It said, in part:

I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate. I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.

I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.

Let's just hope he means it about reevaluating his discipline methods. Especially after he purportedly sent texts to his son's mother after the incident saying, "You will be mad at me about his leg ... he got about five more pops than normal. He didn’t drop one tear! … He’s tough as nails."

Do you think Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play professional football while he's the subject of an open child abuse investigation?


Image via Harry Engels/Stringer/Getty Images

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