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Did Adrian Peterson Cross The Line? updated 09/17/14

Courtesy of Forbes.com
UPDATED on 09/17/2014

Star NFL and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was taken into custody and released on bond in Texas early Saturday morning following his indictment on a charge of child abuse for allegedly using a branch (switch) to spank his four year old son.

Late Friday, the Vikings decided to deactivate Peterson for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.  Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said "It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."

On Monday Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Peterson "deserves to play" while the legal process plays out, and not because of the Vikings 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday with the 2012 NFL MVP inactive for that game.  Peterson was expected to play this Sunday as the Vikings play at New Orleans. All of that would soon change!

"It has nothing to do with him as a football player," Spielman said. "It has to do purely on the facts that have been presented to us."

"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser," Peterson said in a statement on Monday.

"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."

On Wednesday the Vikings placed Peterson on the exempt list until his case is resolved.The Vikings will continue to pay Peterson his full salary, which is $11.75 million this season.

Although some may question why the Vikings had a change of heart, I certainly agree with the final decision because of the seriousness of charges presented against Peterson.

Let's go back to Monday, a television station in Houston reported that Peterson has been accused of abusing his other 4-year-old son in a separate incident.

The station said the mother of the 4-year old, a different mother than the child he stands charged with abusing, filed a report with Child Protective Services but no charges have been filed. This report alone was beginning to make Peterson's reinstatement look like a public relations nightmare!

Peterson, 29, faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty. His arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday but has been delayed until Oct. 8 because his attorney, Rusty Hardin, is abroad

Did Adrian Peterson cross the line while disciplining his son?  As a 46 year old man who was physically abused as a child by my mother’s boyfriend, I would have to say yes! 

My abuse started while I was six years old. The abuse lasted until I was seven years old when my abuser and my mother were both murdered during an armed robbery. I recall receiving beatings with drop cords and anything available for him to use.

After the murders, I moved to North Carolina with my Grandmother and her form of discipline was with switches but she had enough restraint to stop when she felt I had gotten the message.

I don’t think the act of disciplining any child is wrong but as a parent you have to know when enough is enough! I never whipped any of my children with switches! It was either a small belt or with my bare hands. 

Why? Mainly because of my terrible experiences as a child and I just didn’t see the need of beating any of my children with switches which could leave bruises, lacerations and cuts that could possibly get infected.

For those in my generation that constantly argue the fact those severe forms of corporal punishment by parents or guardians was socially accepted and were effective, they need to realize that this is a different age and time. The protection of children is taken much more seriously now than 30 to 40 years ago.

The thing that disturbs me, is that Peterson reflects back only to his childhood discipline experiences!  He refers to himself as someone that disciplined his child.


Just last October, a 27 year old man was accused of beating Peterson's 2-year-old son to death in South Dakota. Joseph Patterson was charged with aggravated assault and aggravated battery in that case. Patterson pleaded not guilty.

When he was beating his 4 year old, did Peterson even think about his 2 year old that was beaten to death? Did he even cross his mind at all? I know that you never heard of anyone dying from being beaten with a switch but the severe pain that his 4 year old son had to endure while going through the severe beating, should have made him at least think about his deceased son and exercise some restraint.

I am in no way judging Adrian Peterson, but maybe one day he will realize the difference between discipline and torture. There are other effective ways of disciplining a disobedient child (corporal and non- corporal) than the way he chose!

By the way receiving beatings with drop cords didn't make me a better person; it made me a very bitter person!

Feel free to contact me via email [email protected] also twitter: @babethomherman




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