Star running back must get life together before returning to action
Throughout his career Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has countlessly run into defenders, but this year he has run into some legal problems. Peterson is in the prime of his career, he won the 2012 league MVP in 2012 and some may consider him the best player in the game right now. The running back’s world was flipped upside down when he was accused of abusing his child. Peterson allegedly hit his son with a switch, a stick usually used for whipping, to discipline his son. Peterson said he disciplined his son the same way his father treated him as a child in Texas. This news sparked debate across the nation about child abuse and disciplining children.
Adrian Peterson was not the only person receiving criticism, it was also the Minnesota Vikings organization that was criticized for how they went about the situation. Many thought the team did not do enough about the situation and were too soft on their star running back. It was not until Peterson was actually indicted that the Vikings decided to deactivate him. Not to mention that at that time, the NFL and teams like the Baltimore Ravens were under fire for how they went about the Ray Rice situation.
Even with the organization receiving a lot of bad attention, the team was relentless in trying to get Peterson on the field. On September 15th of this year, Minnesota reinstated the running back saying he was only “disciplining a child”. Little did they know however that another report of Peterson abusing his child would come out the same day. The Vikings had no other choice but to put the 2012 league MVP on the commissioner’s exemption list, this would allow him to still receive full pay. Peterson ended up pleading no contest for one count of misdemeanor assault.
Learning from what happened with Ray Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted quickly as he suspended the Vikings running back for the rest of the 2014 season without pay. Goodell actually sent a letter to Peterson telling him how he can get back on the field next season; the letter also said he will be reinstated on April 15, 2015. However, If Peterson manages to run into some legal trouble once again a definite ban would be the result. Of course, the NFL Players Union will appeal this suspension as they have to for every player, but many do not expect the appeal to be successful.
The running back should be more focused on getting his life back together before getting on the field. One year away from the gridiron may be a good thing. Anyway, a year less of mileage on a running back’s legs is a positive thing. Peterson should be thankful that he still has a multimillion dollar job unlike his fellow running back, Ray Rice. Who knows, maybe Peterson comes into the 2015 NFL season with a little bit of a chip on his shoulders and something to prove.