Take a moment to think to yourself right now. If you haven’t already, who would you draft first for your NFL Fantasy team? Peyton Manning? Calvin Johnson? Adrian Peterson? I can bet that many of you are racking your brain but find that Manning, Johnson, and Peterson are the best out there. And you are probably right when it comes to those three players, especially with Adrian Peterson. But unfortunately for 'All-Day' Peterson, he is the latest name to be linked to off the field issues with the law.
Peterson joins a very trendy and popular “extra-curricular” list
Sports fans we have to be honest here. Like it or not, we have found ourselves in the middle of a very controversial and intriguing time in professional sports. Without intentionally leaving out anything, we have seen and been exposed to topics such as, racism, domestic violence among couples, and now child abuse based on the recent reports Peterson.
Adrian reportedly beat a child with a hickory switch which injured and cut the boy in the face, legs, thigh, buttocks and scrotum. The child turned out to be one of the elite running-back’s sons and a warrant was put out for his arrest. Peterson turned himself in before he was then released after paying a $15,000 bond.
No disciplinary action has been taken by the NFL other than the Minnesota Vikings – Peterson’s team – deactivating him for this Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots. “All-Day” has been charged by police and it will be interesting to see what the Vikings and the NFL do from here.
His son apparently told his mother that Adrian has a quote on quote “whooping room” and that he has repeatedly beat him with belt and switches as well as even a tree branch. The mother of the child went to the hospital and the doctor had confirmed that the injuries and lacerations were consistent with child abuse. This comes as a bit of a shock as many know of Peterson as a loving father including his attorney Rusty Hardin who made a statement on Friday. He said quote “Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened.”
The effects of losing a star
If Peterson is gone for an extended period of time, as I and many other analysts predict he will be, then it will be the Vikings who will lose not only their starting running-back, but arguably one of the best players in the game.
The effects of his absence will be felt in the team’s upcoming game against the Patriots but throughout what many would call a reasonably difficult schedule. What fans may have circled has potential wins and surefire victories will now be called into question and Peterson will be off the field for the bulk of it. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if “All-Day” received a ban that would keep him off the field for the rest of this season and possibly even into early next season.
His punishment won’t be nearly as severe as Ray Rice who has dominated headlines for the entire week. The incident definitely brings the issue of child abuse and child beatings to the forefront and begs to ask if this is still acceptable in today’s society and how issues like the Ray Rice saga are looked at.
I agree with radio host Gareth Wheeler of TSN Radio 1050 that maybe these Sports League's can’t deal with all of these incidents reasonably. It may be time to bring in an outside service such as a hired team of specialists or arbitrators to deal with the issues and the frequency we have seen them pop up in the recent months. And while it is unfortunate to see so many athletes succumbing to mistakes they are making off the field or what have you, it is something that will need to be addressed in not just the NFL but Pro Sports in general. It is just a matter of when and how.
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