Another Giant Headache for the NFL

Minnesota Viking, and star NFL running back, Adrian Peterson has been arrested in Texas for whooping his then 4 year old son with a switch. When questioned about it, Peterson admitted what he had done and even showed the police what kind of switch he had used, but he asserted that it was a normal spanking and not abusive.

Peterson’s personal life reads like a laundry list of tragedy.

Peterson has a half-brother named Jaylon Brown who currently plays football at Klein Oak High School in Texas as its running back. Another half-brother was murdered the night before Peterson participated in the NFL Combine. Additionally, when Peterson was a teenager, his father was sentenced to ten years in prison for laundering drug money…

…Peterson’s two-year-old son died on October 11, 2013 at a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, hospital due to injuries sustained during an alleged assault by Joseph Robert Patterson, the boyfriend of the child’s mother. Peterson had only learned about his son a few weeks prior to his death, and had never met him.

Peterson is a Christian. Peterson has spoken about his faith in his life saying, “Jesus Christ means the world to me. I’ve been through so many different situations through my childhood and now my adulthood…God just helped me get through them and made me stronger at a young age. [Through] all the adversity and hard times I’ve been through, God has always been present. I’ve always prayed to Him and asked Him to give me the strength to endure and to help others and to better understand whatever situation I deal with in my personal life. And He has always showed up! It brings hope and peace of mind knowing that God gave His only begotten Son for us.” Peterson also spoke of his faith in relation to his injury of a torn ACL and MCL by saying “…‘This is a blessing in disguise. I’ll come back stronger and better than I was before.’ What flashed in my mind was, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’…”

Peterson was indicted by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child on September 12, 2014.

In light of the NFL’s present image problems stemming from the Ray Rice controversy, I don’t think you can expect to see Peterson back on a football field very soon, if ever. I wish he had more common sense than to beat his four year old with a stick. He’s overcome a lot in his life and accomplished a lot. But what he did is just not acceptable.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at