After intense political and financial pressure, the Minnesota Vikings has suspended child abuser Adrian Peterson indefinitely. The Vikings reactivated Peterson on Monday after he was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse in Houston on Friday.
Peterson, 29, admitted he “disciplined” one of his minor sons with a tree branch when the child visited his gated home in May. Photos leaked to the media showed the boy’s lower torso and legs covered in welts and open wounds. The boy was only 3-years-old at the time of the savage beating.
Numerous big ticket sponsors cut ties with the Vikings and Peterson after the Vikings’ arrogant General Manager Rick Spielman held a disastrous press conference during which he said the team believed Peterson was just disciplining his 4-year-son.
The public outcry prompted the NFL’s official beer sponsor, Anheuser-Busch, to send a vaguely worded letter to the NFL expressing concern over the league’s handling of “certain behaviors” that goes against the company’s moral code. It wasn’t difficult to figure out who Anheueser-Busch was referring to. Without saying it in so many words, Anheuser-Busch threatened to withdraw its substantial $1.2 billion in advertising dollars if Peterson wasn’t gone by sundown.
Late Tuesday, the NFL responded to Anheuser-Busch with a cryptic message of its own:
“We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
The Vikings drafted a statement at 1 a.m. Wednesday announcing Peterson was being placed on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list until his legal case is resolved.
“After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian,” the statement read.
Peterson is suspended with pay for the rest of the season. He will receive his full $11.5 million salary but he will lose lucrative sponsorships.
The Vikings initial decision to play Peterson after he viciously assaulted his son was a slap in the face to abused children everywhere. The Vikings sent a dangerous message that child abuse was permissible and winning games was the team’s top priority.
In related news, the mother of Peterson’s 4-year-old son asked the media to stop publishing photos of her son’s injuries. Through her attorney, the unidentified woman said she was “hurt and outraged” that the graphic photos were published.
“My client is hurt and outraged that the press would publish throughout the world pictures of their minor son and publish statements allegedly made as part of the private and confidential criminal investigative file,” Kelly C. Dohm said in her statement.
“My client asks the press and the public to respect the privacy rights of herself and their son by immediately removing any and all pictures and statements that are part of the private and confidential criminal investigative file and that should not be in the possession of the press and the public.”
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