It was all good just a day ago for top NFL running back Adrian Peterson. While Peterson was deactivated for last week’s game because of his recent child abuse charges, he had been told he would be reinstated to play in Sunday’s upcoming game. However, the Minnesota Vikings have rescinded that decision and announced early Wednesday morning that Peterson has been placed on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list, which means he will not play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Not only is he not allowed to play, but also must stay away from the team until his legal issues are resolved.
Peterson was indicted Friday on a charge of felony child abuse for whipping his 4-year-old son with a switch that left open wounds across the boy’s legs, buttocks and scrotum and turned himself in early Saturday to a jail near Houston.
Vikings’ owners Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf released a statement regarding their decision that reads:
This has been an ongoing and deliberate process since last Friday’s news. In conversations with the NFL over the last two days, the Vikings advised the League of the team’s decision to revisit the situation regarding Adrian Peterson. In response, the League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved. After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian.
We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization. We embrace our role – and the responsibilities that go with it – as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community.
While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian. We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community. Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well.
We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision. We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision.
Given the recent controversies happening within the NFL, it seems the NFL League may have put pressure on the Vikings’ owners and higher-ups to come down with a harsher punishment for Peterson. Or could the Vikings’ decision be linked to the fact that the Radisson Hotel has already suspended its sponsorship agreement with the team and other corporations may soon follow suit? Is the NFL sincerely trying to move towards a zero tolerance policy on violence that takes place off the field? Only time will tell. But one thing is for certain, Peterson is off the field for now.