Watching this whole Adrian Peterson thing unfold here in Minnesota is sad, ugly and infuriating. If you haven’t seen it on the news, Peterson was indicted by a grand jury in Texas for beating one of his sons, a four year old, with a “switch” for arguing with one of his other sons over a video game. Pictures of the boy, taken about a week later when doctors in Minnesota examined him after he returned home from Texas, show horrific welts, broken skin and scabs over his legs, butt, scrotum and hands… the last of which were defensive wounds trying to protect himself.
Peterson has repeatedly said he is “without a doubt not a child abuser”, pointing out he was disciplining his son the same way he was disciplined as a boy.
The situation is sad because the boy, and most likely all of Peterson’s kids, have to live in fear of their father deciding whatever they are doing is wrong and needs “discipline”, and they are now in the center of a media storm and public scrutiny. None of these kids asked for this. Peterson was beaten as a kid, and he is perpetuating the cycle of abuse. He needs psychiatric help.
It’s ugly because, believe it or not, some people are defending Peterson and saying how he disciplines his kids is his business, not ours. That’s true until his parenting techniques leave defenseless four-year-olds bruised, welted and bloody. Then it’s everybody’s business. Any reasonable person would see that what Peterson did was not parenting but abuse. Some people only seem to care about if their football team wins on Sunday. Great human beings.
It’s infuriating because the Minnesota Vikings have proven themselves to be the biggest frauds in the NFL, and the NFL itself is not far behind. The Vikings deactivated Peterson for one game after the news broke, then on Monday actually stood up in front of the media to announce they were going to reinstate him to allow the legal “due process” to play itself out, allowing him to play. After an avalanche of outrage by the public and, more importantly to them, the people that sponsor the team and the NFL, they did an about-face and placed him on an “exempt list” barring him from playing and participating in any activities with the team.
First off, the lame “due process” excuse only flies when someone is accused of a crime they deny doing, and whether they did it or not needs proving. Peterson does not deny this, in fact he says it is a perfectly acceptable practice albeit he admits he went a little too far in that case. No one is denying he beat this four year old bloody with a tree branch. The only thing in question is if the courts in Texas define it as illegal or not. The act itself is not in question. The Vikings were perfectly fine with allowing this man to play for and represent their team.
Second, their change of mind only happened after their wallets got affected. The Radisson hotel chain publicly pulled their sponsorship of the team. Nike pulled all their Peterson merchandise from Twin Cities stores. Anheuser-Busch, a major sponsor of the NFL, issued a strong statement basically demanding the NFL clean up it’s act. Other sponsors and financial supporters of the NFL and the Vikings issues similar statements, insinuating they’d take action if something wasn’t done. Only then did the Vikings decide having someone who beats their kids continue to be their star player was not the right thing to do. Right now the radio “voice of the Vikings” Paul Allen is trying to spin this that the Vikings have done the right thing and it’s time to move on. Too little, too late. What total and utter frauds.
Hitting your kids does not teach them anything except to fear you. Parents that hit their kids are lazy, not wanting to bother to learn how to properly teach them right from wrong. Striking your kids is more about an immediate relief of your anger or frustration as a parent than about teaching your kids better behavior, and anyone who says different is not being honest. Do you calmly and methodically administer the whacks on the ass with your hand or a belt as someone thoughtfully teaching a lesson might, or do you do it emotionally upset and angry? The latter, 100% of the time.
There are far more effective ways to punish kids than physical pain. If you are not smart enough to outsmart a four year old kid and teach them right from wrong without resorting to beating them, you have no business being a parent—or representing a professional football team.
The whole thing makes me sick.