by Jackie Thompson
On November 18, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodwell suspended the Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, without pay for the remainder of the 2014 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Earlier in September, Peterson turned himself in east Texas after beating his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch in order to dole out discipline, according to his lawyer. The child suffered cuts and bruising to thighs, back, and one of his testicles.
“A grand jury, having indicted this case, looked at the injuries that were inflicted upon this child and determined that discipline was not reasonable,” Montgomery Country Assistant District Attorney, Phil Grant, said on September 13. Peterson was indicted on a felony charge of child abuse.
The running back’s charges came at tough time for the NFL because of the Ray Rice case, in which a video of the Baltimore Ravens’ player punching his then fiancée, Janay Palmer, was released. Rice faces an indefinite suspension from the NFL as well. The organization was heavily criticized for their very public and irresolute handling of the case.
Critics emerged again on to condemn NFL Commissioner Goodwell’s decision. According to ESPN, Peterson’s attorney Rusty Hardin declared that the decision has cost Peterson his career and that, “It wasn’t child abuse. Nobody that knows him and his children believes he ever intentionally hurts his children.”
In a letter to Peterson, Goodwell defends his decision and expresses concern that Peterson does not “fully appreciate the seriousness” of his actions. “You have shown no meaningful remorse for your conduct,” the letter said, “When indicted, you acknowledged what you did but…defended your conduct in numerous published text messages to the child’s mother. You said that you felt ‘very confident with my actions because I know my intent.’ These comments raise the serious concern that you…may feel free to engage in similar acts in the future.”
The Minnesota Vikings claimed running back Ben Tate off waivers on same day to fill Peterson’s void, only a day after Tate was dropped by the Cleveland Browns.