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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