Coach’s Disgusting Defense of Adrian Peterson: If Family Member ‘Has Cancer, You Don’t Turn Your Back On Them. You Keep Fighting For Them.’

vikings-coach-mike-zimmerPerhaps you’ve heard that Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been indicted on charges that he abused his 4-year-old son when he brutally beat him with a tree branch until the young child bled with wounds on his back, thighs, groin and hands. And if you’ve been following this story at all, you know that the Vikings immediately pulled Peterson from this past Sunday’s game, but have since “reinstated” him for this week’s coming matchup.

While the NFL has indefinitely suspended Ray Rice for punching his then-fiancée in an elevator in Atlantic City, it seems violently beating a defenseless 4-year-old with a weapon until they bleed is just fine with the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL.

And while Peterson’s actions were absolutely repulsive, the comments coming from the Vikings organization have been flat-out embarrassing and ridiculous.

Starting with Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, who said, “We feel strongly as an organization this is disciplining a child.” Again, I’ve yet to have anyone logically explain to me how whipping a 4-year-old boy until he bleeds constitutes “discipline.” That’s flat-out abuse, plain and simple.

But maybe the most ridiculous comment came from Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. While speaking with local sports radio host Dan Barreiro on Monday, Zimmer said, “You don’t turn your back on your family. It’s like, and this might be a completely different thing, if one of your family members has cancer, you don’t turn your back on them. You keep fighting for them.” (Quote is at the 96:00 mark in the “Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro” radio show podcast located here.)

He also went on to suggest that Peterson is a “good person” at heart.

But yes, by all means, let’s compare the willful act of a grown man abusing a 4-year-old boy to a horrible disease that people have absolutely no control over.

If there’s a “cancer” analogy to make in all of this, Peterson’s reprehensible actions would be the cancer. He wouldn’t be the family member you’re fighting for. The “family member” would be the integrity of your team to not support a child abuser. But I guess integrity isn’t a big deal for the Vikings franchise.

Peterson didn’t have an unexpected tragedy strike him, he savagely beat his 4-year-old son. And he made that decision willingly. Not only that, the text messages he sent the child’s mother showed absolutely zero remorse for his actions.

But let’s be real here. The Vikings are “letting this all play out” because it’s Adrian Peterson. He’s a superstar running back and they got annihilated this past Sunday when they played the Patriots without him. They’ll go on and on about “due process” and all that b.s., but it’s all about him being a superstar and the organization putting football before banning a player who apparently likes to violently beat small, defenseless children.

Because the Vikings didn’t care about “due process” in 2011 when they suspended former cornerback Chris Cook, who was accused of domestic assault for allegedly choking his girlfriend. They barred Cook from all team activities until the legal process played out. Cook ended up missing 10 games, even though he was later acquitted of all charges.

Or last year when they cut cornerback A.J. Jefferson less than 24 hours after he was arrested for domestic assault. In 2012, they also cut practice squad player Caleb King just hours after he was accused of harming another man in a fight.

But the GM has an excuse for why Peterson is being treated differently, “It has nothing to do with him as a football player. It’s based purely on the facts that we have that have been presented to us.”

Excuse my language, but that’s total bullshit.

They have the facts of this case – because Peterson has admitted that he’s the one who caused these wounds. 

If this were a third-string cornerback, practice squad player or some other non-essential player, they would have already been suspended or outright released.

But this is “AD” (“All Day”), their superstar running back. The guy that they know they need if they want to stand any chance at being competitive this season. Keeping him away while the legal process plays out, like they did with Cook, would all but guarantee a terrible season for the franchise.

And like I’ve said before, this isn’t an issue of merely spanking a child as a form of discipline. This isn’t a few smacks on the rear end or a slap on the hand. This is a grown man using a wooden stick to whip a defenseless 4-year-old child to the point that they bled and had wounds all over their body.

Let’s put to rest this ridiculous notion that because Peterson was “raised this way,” that suddenly justifies this. Because let’s be honest; Adrian Peterson isn’t exactly the best of guys. All that “discipline” Peterson received as a child apparently didn’t make him very respectful of women considering he won’t even admit how many children he has. But the rumors are he has had at least seven children with at least five different women.

So let’s not pretend that Peterson is the epitome of discipline and self-control.

It’s just shocking to me how many people have actually come out in defense of Peterson’s actions. Yet I’ve not seen a single person present me with any sort of reasonable situation where a 4-year-old could do something that would excuse whipping them with a wooden stick to the point of bleeding and causing open wounds all over their body.

Hell, there’s no excuse to do that to anyone of any age. Let alone a small, defenseless child.

And if the NFL really wants to show that it’s serious about cleaning up the league and making a statement, Adrian Peterson better not be on the field this Sunday.

Though, sadly, I’m almost certain that this scumbag will be. When it comes right down to it, the NFL has proven that they care more about profits and on-field success than violence against women and children.


Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Cemetery Girl

    All that matters is profits. Some fans will gladly support beating a preschooler until he has bloody wounds over his body, including his genitals, as long as their team can win.

  • Jordan

    I guess no one else on earth that ever made a mistake before… this sort of thing happens every day by thousands of people… funny how those ppl don’t get this kind of attention… they continue to go to work and do their jobs.. why is it different with AP? He made a mistake, recognized it was one, got the help he needed, apologized, ect… most ppl are so extreme when it comes to judging others and need to look at their own problems before being so vicious.

    • Meggie

      What, exactly, WAS the “mistake” here…thinking that it’s okay to beat your child all over his body and nobody would care? Athletes are role models in this country, and children try to emulate them. And, of course, ordinary people aren’t allowed to abuse their children either. Doctors are forced to report signs of abuse TO THE POLICE.

      • PAC

        Yes, agreed but children are not the only ones who emulate their behavior. Plenty of adults think whatever athletes do is beyond reproach as evidenced by some comments here. Some sports fans think its just fine to abuse their families because so-and-so does it.

    • Mama2KOA

      If this is something that the father says he has no problem doing again and again – it’s not a mistake, it’s a pattern.

    • Cemetery Girl

      Does domestic abuse make the media, rarely. The public doesn’t recognize the name of Joe Shmoe, so he doesn’t warrant the media attention. Sadly, unless a more shocking case than usual, even if a partner or child is killed doesn’t get media attention. It still doesn’t make it ok.

    • LMB

      Made a mistake??? He has said that he’s done it before and from reading his comments, he believes he did no wrong. He let the kid go to the doctor with scars. I am not a fan of spankin at all, but there is definitely a difference between that and beating someone until they bleed.

  • Guest

    I was wondering when we’d hear about the other times. Now the story breaks on WHOU. You, Jordan, are mistaken if you think this guy “made a mistake.” He breeds indiscriminately and beats his offspring.

  • JoeSixPAck

    @Jordan Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges. If, as you claim, this goes on every day by thousands of people, then THEY ARE COMMITTING CHILD ABUSE! Take your head out of your…..

  • Jim Bean

    “You don’t turn your back on your family. It’s like, and this might be a completely different thing, if one of your family members has cancer, you don’t turn your back on them. You keep fighting for them.”

    I fail to see what’s ‘ridiculous’ in that. Would it be more noble for society to try to destroy Peterson or reform him?

    • Meggie

      What would that little coachy boy be saying if Peterson had beaten HIM with a stick or worse, a big club proportional to relative size of victim? Would he still be calling the bully “part of the family.” All of that crap about how Peterson “made a mistake”….yeah, what was the mistake? Did he think nobody would notice his brutality and finally somebody did notice? Was that it? The role of society here ought to be to paint these bullies as they thugs that they are, and to come down hard when it comes to punishment. Why? So they discourage others from behaving as badly. Don’t accuse “society” of trying to destroy Peterson. He destroyed HIMSELF when he beat his child. The real “misstate” is having thought that he owned his child and could do anything he wanted to him because he belonged to him. It’s the job of society to say that every child is everybody’s child.

      • Jim Bean

        My, my, aren’t we the righteous one!

      • Mrs_oatmeal

        He would go to jail if he had done this to a dog or if he had been caught on tape.

      • Jim Bean

        True. A parent could also go to jail or lose their child by giving them a hand-slap to the behind. I have nothing to say in defense of Peterson but you’re walking down a slippery slope with a blind enthusiasm that is bound to result in a monster cluster____ for society in general.

    • Meggie

      One more thing…what happens to this child if “society” fails to “reform” his father? Do we continue to let this jerk abuse the child while society waits for the results of the socialization process, one that has already failed at least once?

      • Jim Bean

        The child is better off fatherless? Statistics would contradict that.

      • Cemetery Girl

        I think statistics would back the fact that growing up with abuse is signicantly harmful. Lack of a male role model is harmful, but doesn’t trump the damage of having an abusive male role model. The thought of “a bad father is better than no father” isn’t neccisarily true.

      • Jim Bean

        Neither is the thought of ‘once a bad father, forever and in all regards always a bad father.”

    • Cemetery Girl

      NFL doesn’t want to destroy the careers of their athletes. They want to shield them, keep them in the game to attract viewers and sell merchandise. (They don’t even care which athletes are the draw. They like to keep the big names, but they can always cultivate more..) They don’t want to reform them either. Hide the bad behavior as much as possible, that’s the goal. The player doesn’t deny that he repeatedly hit the child. I don’t think his team or the NFL is trying to deny that he repeatedly struck the child causing bruises and blood on various parts of his body including his genitals. They are fighting for someone that does not deny committing an action that is considered illegal (child abuse), and even they aren’t denying he did this. They just want to protect him so he can continue to make them money.

      • Jim Bean

        Again, we agree. Their motivation is money. But the motivation of the persecutors is not the welfare of the child either. They are motivated by a desire to display themselves as better-than-thee.

        Neither we the viewers nor, the NFL are equipped to assess remedies for domestic issues of any type. The proper course of action for them to take when made aware of such situations is to turn the information over to law enforcement and child welfare authorities. It is NOT the proper course to put people up for trial in the court of public opinion.

        The Joe Paterno/Sandusky (Penn State) affair is a perfect example of why it isn’t. In that instance, the law enforcement community did its job and sentenced Sandusky to 30 to 60 yrs. The University did its job by firing their beloved Paterno.

        Then the court of public opinion decreed that everyone not associated with these affairs be punished as well by having all of their victories from 1998 until 2011 vacated, their postseason eligibility for four seasons suspended, and the scholarships they could offer during that four years be limited to 65.

        Hundreds of thousands of people harmed for nothing in return save the glory of the self-righteous among us.

  • PAC

    All the NFL cares about is money.
    If only there was a public video, then maybe they would be forced to acknowledge this disgusting, horrible abuse should never be tolerated.

  • Dho

    Spot on with your story… That is a big, big man beating a 4-yr old. C’mon. Vikings have never had any class in their organization… One for all, oops i mean one for one, right Brett, Randy, CC, and on and on.

  • Jim Deedler

    If what who???? Coach you need to come to grips with the fact you have a player who has assaulted a child that is 4 years old who has just as many rights in this country as you do. The Facts are Peterson assaulted this child like no man should ever be allowed to assault any child in the world and get away with it. If this happened in Iraq this coach would be saying we need to send Bombs…..Hypocrite.

  • BeastMode

    Why would he want to tell you nosey ass, biast reporters how many kids he has when you would just simply bash on him for that too?Even if he wasn’t accused/admitted to the abuse. I’m not saying what he did was right, because it’s definately not, he got carried away with it; but, at the same time, the media and this reporter can go sit on a thumb. So many other problems to be worrying about than AP.