15 September 2014

There is no way the Vikings can allow Adrian Peterson to play on Sunday (UPDATED)

In the wake of Adrian Peterson being indicted on Friday by a grand jury in Montgomery County in Texas for reckless or negligent injury to a child, as first reported by Fox 29 in Houston, the Minnesota Vikings deactivated him for Sunday's contest against the Patriots. Peterson turned himself in to authorities early on Saturday morning. And yet, inexplicably, the Vikings have reinstated Peterson and have cleared him to play this Sunday.

This is a disgrace. Here is why.

Either as a refresher for those who are already know, or for those who are new to this story, here is what Peterson is being charged for from Sports Radio 610 in Houston:
According to law-enforcement sources, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson beat his 4-year-old son with a tree branch as a form of punishment this summer, an incident that allegedly resulted in multiple injuries to the child. 
The "whooping" - as Peterson put it when interviewed by police - occurred in Spring Texas, in May. Peterson's son had pushed another one of Peterson's children off of a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch - which he consistently referred to as a "switch" - removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly. 
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child's back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child's hands.  
The police reports hold that the child in question told authorities that "Daddy Peterson hit me on my face," as well as saying that he had been hit by a belt as well as by the switch after leaves were put in his mouth with his pants being down, adding that "there are a lot of belts in Daddy's closet," and his father even "has a whooping room."

WCCO in Minneapolis obtained pictures from the incident from the Houston Police Department and they are below:
For Peterson's part, his lawyer Rusty Hardin released a statement on Friday, saying that he is a "loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son," and that he "he has never hidden from what happened" as well as that Peterson "never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."

And so back to how I closed the open of this, when announcing Peterson's reinstatement earlier today, Vikings GM Rick Spielman said that after taking a step back to gather information, they came to the decision that they "felt was best."

So let me get this straight. The information that has came out since the Vikings deactivated Peterson on Friday certainly has made Peterson look worse since then, and yet after not having him play this past Sunday, he will play next Sunday. And yes, that makes no sense.

Naturally the team's statement provided the usual "this is a matter of due process" argument, which, as we all know, is complete nonsense. Why does Peterson get that defense and not cornerback A.J. Jefferson, who was released shortly after being arrested on probable cause for domestic assault in November. How about linebacker Erin Henderson, who was released shortly after being arrested for drunken driving back in February, or how about running backCaleb King, who was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault in May of 2012 and was released shortly thereafter. Of course, none of those guys are star players whom the Vikings would sorely miss like they would a guy like Peterson and also why the team would only consider trading him, not release him mind you, should the details get worse, as reported by the New York Post.

Well the details certainly haven't gotten better, although the team would probably move the goalposts depending on how "worse" they get. That doesn't count the fact that KHOU broke the story that Peterson has been accused another son of his, with their investigative unit obtaining photos and text messages from Peterson to the boy's mother regarding the incident. However it is not clear when this incident may have happened and Peterson was not charged regarding there.

But here we have another NFL team showing cowardice in regards to significant charges against a high-profile running back, especially after . Either the Vikings should not let Peterson play this Sunday, if not indefinitely, or the NFL should step in, in the wake of the worst week in the history of the NFL and a commissioner under significant fire, and suspend Peterson. Do we have confidence that either side will do the right thing, and should we?

UPDATE: The Vikings have made a sharp about-face and have placed Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission List, effectively deactivating him indefinitely.

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