I’m sure you’ve heard the story of NFL Vikings star Adrian Peterson and his admitted abuse of his four-year-old son. Most of the stories I have read begin from Peterson’s own childhood and how his parent’s chose to raise him. They also focus pretty heavily on what a “great guy” he is.
But let’s look at the facts shall we?
“He is a good guy,” they said when he was arrested in 2009 for driving 109 mph in a 55 mph zone. “But he does so much for the community,” the media cried when he spent a night in jail after resisting arrest after refusing to leave a club in 2012.
And when Peterson’s son was murdered by the child’s mother’s boyfriend last year, all of our thoughts and prayers were with him. Despite the fact that Peterson had never met his child, and did not even know he existed until a few weeks before his tragic murder. Still, Peterson was the good guy.
Sadly, Peterson’s latest foray into the criminal system once again involves a child and also, for reasons I can’t fully grasp, has people feeling sympathetic for him. Peterson has not been accused of beating his four-year-old son with a switch (a tree branch), he has admitted to it. The beating resulted in cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum; most devastating of all were the reports of defensive wounds to the child’s hands.
But people, in the media and on social media, are trying to rationalize Peterson’s behaviour. Peterson was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child on Friday September 12th, 2014. He released a statement on Monday apologizing for his behaviour while also maintaining that he is not a child abuser and that his actions stem from his upbringing:
” 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.
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 big football or NFL fan; I watch the Super Bowl but that is basically it. My knowledge of Peterson is contained to what I have read over the past few days online.
In my opinion, Adrian Peterson is not a nice guy, or a particularly good father, and he most certainly is a child abuser.
The idea that people are supporting Peterson and his right to play in the NFL boggles my mind. Fellow NFLer Reggie Bush has come out saying that Peterson should be allowed to play this weekend and representatives of Peterson’s hometown Palestine, Texas believe that he was just acting as a parent: “Each parent has their own way of disciplining. Some parents are still paddling and some don’t,” said Jerry Mayo, former Palestine ISD Superintendent.
“Many have come to Peterson’s defense, saying that this form of discipline is typical in African American homes, and that it is character building and acceptable. Perhaps that is why the witness in a previous accusation against Peterson for striking his other child said he didn’t do anything wrong,” writes Leslie Kennedy on BabyPost.com. And while I am a white female living in Canada and can only speak from my own life experiences, I just don’t buy this as an excuse.
I do agree with Mayo in that all parents have a right to raise their kids as they see fit, but I draw the line at any kind of “harsh discipline” that causes bodily harm to a child. A four-year-old has no hope when faced with a 217 pound NFL player armed with a piece of wood.
The NFL has flip-flopped between “deactivating” Peterson and reinstating him. As it currently stands, Peterson has been deactivated indefinitely. The NFL Players Association issued a statement Wednesday September 17th, stating that Peterson is taking “voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues”.
Good for Peterson, I guess. I hope he can figure his sh*t out, as long as it is not at the expense of his children’s safety.