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ADRIAN PETERSON (courtesy Wikipedia)

The NFL suspended Texas native Adrian Peterson without pay for the rest of the 2014-2015 season, meaning the Minnesota Vikings running back will miss the final six games, and possibly more next season.

Peterson has already missed his team’s first 10 games while going through the criminal court process (he received his salary during that time). He pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault on Nov. 4 after using a switch to whip his 4-year-old son, leaving welts and marks on the boy.

Peterson said he was disciplining his child in the same manner that Peterson had been disciplined while growing up near Palestine in the 1980s.

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Peterson, by most accounts, has been a model employee of the NFL for seven years until this incident. And while whipping a young child until he has marks on him is extreme discipline, it does appear to be just that — discipline. Peterson wasn’t freebasing crack, robbing, or stealing, he was disciplining his child and went too far.

Now the criminal courts have done their job, Peterson is taking his medicine (which includes plenty of public shaming and loss of endorsements), and here comes the NFL to slam down the hammer.

The NFL, always an, ahem, incredibly sensitive and intuitive corporation,worried that Peterson hadn’t shown enough remorse, and had even defended his actions on social media. The NFL wants him to attend a counseling program of its choosing.

“The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision,” Goodell said in a statement. “Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”

The NFL turned a blind eye to wife beating, pill popping, whoring, steroid using, and general thuggery for decades until it finally, grudgingly bowed to societal concerns and started policing its players better. That was good. The NFL has made an especially strong push in 2014, particularly with its current domestic abuse campaign.

But making Peterson the symbolic fall guy doesn’t seem right based on his long record of good conduct, and if only for the fact that stripping away the income that he uses to support his family will ultimately hurt his child — the same one the NFL says it wants to protect.

Peterson will reportedly be appealing the NFL’s decision.

 

 

 

 

4 COMMENTS

  1. I think you missed the mark on this – just my opinion. Whipping a child is not discipline. Discipline is a structure of behaviors set to train, develop, or improve skills. I don’t expect everyone to parent from the mindset of a child psychologist, but most people using common sense can understand that physical punishment (ESPECIALLY something called “whipping”) is not discipline. I think the bigger issue is when is the NFL going to set up some actual laws of conduct rather than continuing to use current players in the media spotlight as pawns. The USA treats NFL players as heroes and whether that is right or wrong, the NFL should be the ones making sure these regular men behave in a responsible manner both on and off the field or face set consequences. Rice and Peterson are just dominoes in an organization that will continue to have it’s players fall until it legally mandates much higher expectations from the get-go. Bottom line is criminal behavior (yes, abuse and “whipping” a child”) should not be tolerated. Period.

    P.S. I am so horribly offended that you elude smoking crack would somehow have been a more severe crime than child abuse.

    • I didn’t say smoking crack was worse than child abuse, I said smoking crack was worse than spanking a child. It doesn’t appear that Peterson intended to abuse his child. He didn’t know spanking constituted abuse. He thought it was how you discipline a child; it was the same discipline he received as a child (and the same discipline that many of my peers received as children). Peterson surely knows the difference now and probably won’t do it again since he admits that he took the spanking too far, he knows he can go to jail if he does it again, lose his $14 million a year salary, and be even further condemned in the court of public opinion. He’s been punished. Why keep piling on?

      • You should read what you wrote then. You don’t say “spanking”…

        “And while whipping a young child until he has marks on him is extreme discipline, it does appear to be just that — discipline. Peterson wasn’t freebasing crack, robbing, or stealing, he was disciplining his child and went too far.”

        It’s ironic that you think Peterson has been “punished” enough, yet you are implying “whipping” that left whelps and skin damage on a four year-old as not “piling on the punishment”.

  2. The suspension actually makes all the sense in the world. The NFL botched the Ray Rice situation so badly that it’s now trying to look tough by suspending AP for 15 games and possibly more. Peterson deserved to miss time for what he did, and if he still thinks he didn’t do anything wrong, then no team should hire him when he does come back. But this suspension is excessive and cynical on the part of the league.

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