Just a couple of days after announcing plans to reinstate star running back Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings have reversed course.
Peterson has been placed on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list, which will bar him from all team activities until further notice. The Vikings say this will allow Peterson to “take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved.”
“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,” said Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf in a statement.
“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.”
News surfaced last week that Peterson has been indicted in Montgomery County, Texas on one felony count of reckless or negligent injury to a child stemming from an incident where Peterson reportedly whipped his four-year-old son with a switch. After that revelation, Peterson was deactivated from last Sunday’s game with the New England Patriots.
After the Vikings announced their decision to reinstate Peterson on Monday, the team began to face immediate blowback. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton called for his immediate suspension. The Radisson hotel chain suspended its sponsorship of the Vikings. The team, its owners, and the NFL also got an earful on social media.
“I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser,” said Peterson in response to the indictment. “I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen.”
Just a few hours ago, Peterson posted this to Twitter:
— Adrian Peterson (@AdrianPeterson) September 17, 2014
Unless Peterson comes to a deal with prosecutors beforehand, he’ll next appear in court October 8th.