Proverbs 13:24?

Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson

Ray Rice punches his fiancé and he gets banished from the NFL.  Adrian Peterson hits his four year old in the testicles with a switch and gets reinstated to play for week three!!
According to prosecutors the 6’1”, 217 pound running back allegedly beat, I’m sorry, disciplined (sic) his son causing multiple injuries to the child, including bruises and cuts to the boy’s legs, buttocks, back, and scrotum.

CBS has been reporting that the four year old boy told authorities that his “father”, yeah I use that term very loosely, struck him in the face and that he was afraid that “Dear Ol’Dad” might be a smidge upset that he was talking to the cops. There have been reports that Peterson also uses a belt on the little boy.

Fortunately, Bruce Hardin, Peterson’s attorney has been able to clear things up. Hardin has gone on record saying, “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; it is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injuries.”

Wow! That is a relief. The injuries were unintentional. For a minute there I thought we were talking about a large athlete taking a switch, or belt, or his fist to a little kid. Of course when you hit a child like that you never intend to leave the wounds it is just that the child tends to bleed a bit.

Experts will tell you, the level of injury his son sustained does not suggest this was the first time he used a stick or more on his kid. And if by magic, another incident comes to light, involving a different four year old son and a different mother. The boy was visiting Peterson in Spring, Texas, and returned with an injury to his face.

Peterson is off the hook for that incident though. It seems the little tyke caused the injury himself when he moved and bumped his head while “Daddy Dearest” was punishing him. It is funny how kids move when they are being hit with a switch, especially if AP was hitting that child in the testicles too.

The organization once known for condoning “The Love Boat” scandal is now backing their star player and loosing sponsors and fans. Radisson Hotels has pulled their sponsorship from the Vikings because of the way the team has responded to the case. The atrocious way this situation is being handled has also led to VikingsMessageBoard.com being shut down. The longstanding board was dedicated to discussion of the Vikings but the owner of the board stated that “it is shut down for forever” because of his disgust with the burgeoning scandal.

Peterson has not denied the things he is being accused of; in fact he has essentially acknowledged that he did indeed do what he is being portrayed as doing. In an initial response to the charges AP tweeted, “All my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”

He more recently said, “I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man.  I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.”

Touching words but the NFL has got to draw the line here. If Rice is banished because of his actions, then AP should be riding off into the sunset as well. This is not about due process. Goddell has stated he wants to clean up the rough and tumble image the NFL has had. In his eight years at the helm, he has acted inconsistently and thus may be the impetus to the scattered way teams are dealing with some problems.

The NFL is riding high with annual revenue around $10 billion dollars and television ratings through the roof. In that kind of spotlight all the ugliness is viewed with a magnifying glass. This is not about scoring more points, or keeping players safe. It is about a lawyer convincing a jury that this type of discipline should be allowable parenting.

I would love to hear how you feel about this. Loving father doing the best that he can? Brute athlete abusing his son?