Star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted on Texas on a charge of child abuse after using a branch to spank his son and the team benched him for this weekend’s game against New England.
Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Friday that the charge in Montgomery County accuses Peterson of using a branch, or switch, to spank one of his sons, whose age was not disclosed. Hardin said Peterson has cooperated with authorities and didn’t mean any harm.
“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas,” Hardin said. “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.”
Peterson was placed on the inactive roster for the Vickings home opener last weekend but an official statement was just issued stating that Peterson will be participating in meetings and practices this week.
Today’s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration. As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue. On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved.
To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process. — Vikings Owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf: