Vikings' Adrian Peterson charged with child abuse
Just what the NFL needed, another violent, off-field incident involving a star running back.
Adrian Peterson, the former league MVP and rushing champion, was indicted Friday by a Montgomery, Tex., grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child and will not play on Sunday when his Minnesota Vikings take on the New England Patriots.
According to reports, the charges are a result of Peterson allegedly disciplining his four-year-old son with a tree branch months ago.
Peterson missed practice on Thursday but practised on Friday.
Houston’s Fox 26 first reported that Peterson had been cooperative with authorities for months and KPRC in Houston reported that a grand jury initially decided to pass on indicting Peterson, but things might have changed in the wake of the Ray Rice situation.
Another report, by Nick Wright of 610-AM in Houston, indicated Peterson told police he gave his son “a whooping” back in May, because the boy had pushed another of Peterson’s children.
According to the report, Peterson grabbed a tree branch, took off its leaves and struck his son repeatedly, causing cuts and bruises. Peterson allegedly texted the child’s mother and told her what had happened. The child’s mother took the boy to a doctor who reported the injuries and said they were consistent with child abuse.
With the NFL already reeling from the Rice fiasco, the Vikings quickly announced that Peterson would be held out against New England.
The league has been championing “due process” and “innocent until proven guilty” with other players, allowing them to suit up, but with evidence coming out that Peterson had admitted the incident, Minnesota wisely refused to play that card.
Later Friday, Peterson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, released a statement saying Peterson only wanted to spank his son the same way he was spanked as a child and did not intend to injure him.
“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” read the statement.
“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. 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.”
Last October, Peterson’s 2-year-old son died after allegedly being assaulted by a man who had been dating his mother. Peterson had only found out the child was his two months previously.
The man was charged with murder and manslaughter.
Meanwhile, the NFL continues to insist — through ESPN in the latest report — that Rice had his initial two-game suspension for domestic violence increased to an indefinite one, because the infamous incident showing him striking his then-fiancee, was apparently far different than what he had told the league had happened.
According to various reports, the league is insisting Rice told them he slapped Janay Palmer and she then fell and hit her head, knocking herself unconscious.
The video showed Rice punching her and knocking her out in the process.
The NFLPA approved the league’s new drug policy for both “substances of abuse and performance-enhancing drugs” late Friday.
“This is an historic moment for our Players and our League,” said NFLPA President Eric Winston. “We have collectively bargained drug policies that will keep the game clean and safe, but also provide our players with an unprecedented level of fairness and transparency. Players should be proud of their union for standing up for what was best for the game.”
Players will now be tested for the use of human growth hormone, though that testing will not start immediately. Punishment for off-season usage of amphetamines and marijuana will change and it is expected some current suspensions will be reduced. Most notably, the full-season ban for NFL receiving leader Josh Gordon reportedly will be cut in half and Wes Welker also should be back sooner than initially expected. Some report had Welker’s suspension being wiped out completely.
HARDY WILL PLAY
Getting back to the “due process” talk, the Carolina Panthers still intend to let defensive end Greg Hardy play this week while he awaits word on his domestic violence charges.
The Pro Bowler was found guilty in July of assaulting and threatening his former girlfriend. Hardy appealed and the case is going to a jury trial in November.
The case might not be heard until next year, according to Hardy’s attorney.
San Francisco is also letting Ray McDonald play, though he was recently arrested on a domestic violence charge.
Has the last week's flurry of off-field NFL news turned you off?
Yes, I'm disgusted
No, I'm disgusted but I'll still watch
Maybe, haven't processed it all yet