Adrian Peterson, a pro football player for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, was released on bond from jail in Houston, Texas early Saturday morning after turning himself in. The football running back is being charged with spanking one of his sons. The arrest came as a surprise to Peterson’s team mates, who said 29 year-old Peterson is a “very loving father.”
Recently, Montgomery County Court officials decided to formally press charges against Peterson after deliberating over evidence from allegations of child abuse that were made against Peterson last May. District Attorney Brett Ligon reported the grand jury assigned to the case decided the type of physical punishment used by Peterson to discipline his four year-old son in May was too harsh.
Ligon made a strong argument by stating the community would consider physical punishment towards a child as unreasonable force. Although Peterson openly admitted to “whooping” his son with a switch, the grand jury agreed with Ligon and charged him with reckless injury to a child.
Since pro-football player Peterson was charged with spanking one of his sons, the child abuse allegation has sparked worldwide controversy. This is mainly because there are millions of individuals who believe spanking a child is not wrong. However, the United States laws are very blunt when it comes to child abuse accusations and those found guilty of child abuse face lengthy prison sentences.
Because child abuse laws are so aggressive, if anyone makes up a story or falsely accuses someone of child abuse, they could be charged and prosecuted with a crime as well. An accusation of child abuse would cause a Child Protection agent to investigate the issue and evaluate the child to determine if there are any signs of abuse. Unfortunately for Peterson, the law will always protect the child in these situations.
As a result of the charges and arrest, the Vikings have benched Peterson and he will not play on Sunday against the New England Patriots. Many critics believe that Peterson’s absence from tomorrow’s game might negatively affect the team’s overall performance, since Peterson is considered the Viking’s best quarterback and was the NFL’s MVP in 2012.
According to his Defense Attorney Rusty Hardin, Peterson loves his son dearly and would never harm him in any way. Peterson will fully adhere to legal decisions made by the court, but does not feel he did anything wrong by disciplining his child, said Hardin.
Many of the Minnesota Vikings players, along with others, got on twitter to express their reactions to Peterson’s indictment. Some of them even mentioned they remembered growing up as a child and receiving the same sort of physical punishment more commonly called “a whooping” or “a spanking.”
Brian McCarthy, the spokesperson for the NFL said the national league takes any forms of immoral behavior very seriously. McCarthy also stressed the importance of players abiding by their NFL contracts, which includes a morality code.
Peterson has been taken out of this Sunday’s game against the Patriots because of allegations of child abuse. Unfortunately, mainstream culture frowns on anyone accused of harming a minor. Because Peterson openly admitted to spanking one of his sons, it is not yet determined if he will get benched in next week’s game against the New Orleans Saints as well. That game will take place on Sunday, September 21, 2014.
Commentary By Kimakra Nealy