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Most Valuable Player Accused
September 13, 2014 permalink
Minnesota Vikings football player Adrian Peterson has been indicted for child abuse after hitting his son with a switch. The incident occurred while the boy was visiting Peterson. The boy's mother, separated from Peterson, reported the abuse to police and child protectors.
Adrian Peterson Indicted For Child Abuse, Will Not Play Sunday
September 12, 2014 6:05 PM
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A warrant was issued Friday for the arrest of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after a grand jury in Texas indicted him for reckless or negligent injury to a child.
Peterson will not play in Sunday’s game at TCF Bank Stadium against the New England Patriots. On Friday afternoon, the Vikings said Peterson had been deactivated. That’s different from a suspension, as Peterson will be still be paid as officials investigate.
Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said the star running back would travel to Texas Friday night to post bond as soon as it can be arranged.
Sports Radio 610 in Houston obtained a draft of the police report which says Peterson admitted that he did, in his words, “whoop” one of his children last May while the child was visiting him at his home near Houston.
The punishment happened after Peterson’s son pushed another of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game, the report says.
During a Skype session with his mom back in Minnesota, the 4-year-old boy asked if he could tell her something. According to the report, Peterson said, “Go ahead and tell her and show her what happened.”
The boy said he got a whooping with a switch — a wooden rod or tree branch used for punishment.
When the boy returned to his mother in Eden Prairie, Minn., she took him to a doctor.
The doctor told investigators that the boy had a number of lacerations on his thighs, along with bruise-like marks on his lower back and buttocks and cuts on his hand.
The police report says the doctor described some of the marks as open wounds and termed it “child abuse.” Another examiner agreed, calling the cuts “extensive.”
Photographs obtained from the Houston police report show pictures of the injuries.
Another picture shows Peterson demonstrating the kind of switch he used.
The police report also includes text messages between Peterson and the boy’s mother. First he texted to her: “You will be mad at me about his leg.” Later, he texted: “He got about five more pops than normal. He didn’t drop one tear! … He’s tough as nails.”
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
When investigators questioned Peterson, they say he told them he regarded it as a normal spanking and not excessive. He told investigators, “To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent,” and when asked if he would reconsider using switches in the future, said he would never “eliminate whooping my kids … because I know how being spanked has helped me in my life.”
A grand jury seated earlier this summer decided not to charge Peterson, but a second grand jury indicted him on Thursday.
On Friday, Peterson told WCCO-TV’s Mike Max that he didn’t think he’d face another indictment. The day’s developments caught him by surprise.
If Peterson is convicted, he could face up to two years in prison.
Peterson’s attorney issued this statement Friday afternoon:
“This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. 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 growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours. Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
The NFL recently unveiled a domestic-violence policy, which stipulates a six-game suspension for a first offense but allows for steeper penalties if children are involved.
The indictment against Peterson comes on the heels of another story involving an NFL running back and serious allegations.
On Monday, the league indefinitely suspended Ravens running back Ray Rice after video was published showing the player punching his soon-to-be wife and knocking her out cold.
Following his first pro season, in which he set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a single game (296), Peterson was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He was then awarded the MVP award for his performance in the Pro Bowl and became only the fifth player in NFL history to have more than 3,000 yards through his first two seasons. In 2010, he became the fifth fastest player to run for 5,000 yards, doing so in his 51st game.
In 2012, Peterson became the sixth fastest player to reach 8,000 rushing yards, ending the season with 2,097 rushing yards, just nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson's single season all-time record. Peterson amassed 2,314 all-purpose yards from scrimmage in 2012, tying Marcus Allen for the eighth-highest total ever. For his efforts, he received the NFL MVP Award and the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award for the 2012 NFL season. Peterson also achieved the #1 spot on the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2013. During the 2013 season, Peterson became the third fastest player to reach 10,000 rushing yards in NFL history.
During a 1692 witch hunt in Salem Massachusetts dozens of people, mostly women, were accused. Nineteen died by hanging. The courts relied on spectral evidence, some of it provided by pre-teen girls. As the witch hunt progressed, the girls became emboldened to accuse higher-ups in the community, who then came under the same scrutiny. The witch hunt came to an end with an accusation against the wife of the governor, a lady of unquestioned integrity. That accusation was enough to shock the community back to its senses, and ignore the rantings of the girls.
With the accusation of Adrian Peterson the child protection witch hunt is advancing to a new level. Peterson is a high-performing public figure with many fans, fans drawn not from caring philanthropists but from macho dominators. The Peterson accusation, and more to come, could start the process in which the public at large begins to question the rantings of the social services system.
Addendum: Within a day there is a photo (jpg) on twitter favorable to Peterson. A fan dressed in a Peterson jersey wields a switch.
The press is unanimous in condemning Peterson. But the Minnisota Vikings, responding to fans rather than the politically correct press, reinstated Peterson on September 15, even over the objections of Minnesota governor Mark Dayton.