Exposing the Ignorance of Those Defending Adrian Peterson’s Brutal Abuse of his 4-Year-Old Son

A Vikings fan poses wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey while holding a stick before Sunday's game against the Patriots. Photo: Getty Images

A Vikings fan poses wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey while holding a stick before Sunday’s game against the Patriots. Photo: Getty Images

By now I think it’s safe to say most people have heard about the instances of domestic violence committed by Ray Rice and the charges that have been filed against Adrian Peterson for child abuse.

The situation with Rice is fairly clear cut. He brutally punched his then-fiancée in the face during a drunken argument in an elevator in Atlantic City. What he did was disgusting, and very few are defending his actions. Though, sadly, there have been some who have.

But when it comes to Adrian Peterson’s abuse of his 4-year-old son, there have been far more people defending his “right” to beat the crap out of his young son. In fact, I’ve probably seen an equal number of people defending his actions as those who are condemning them. It’s honestly been shocking to me.

I’ve said before that I’m not against parents spanking their children (though I know some feverishly oppose it), but I believe there’s a huge difference between a couple of smacks on the backside of a child who’s misbehaving, and brutally whipping a 4-year-old with a stick to the point where they bleed and bruise. In my opinion, there’s absolutely nothing a 4-year-old could do to justify a parent brutally whipping them with any kind of weapon in such a violent fashion that they draw blood on that child.

Yet despite the fact that Peterson beat his son so badly that he bled, there are still people out there defending him as a “good father trying to discipline his child.” With the argument used by many of his defenders being, “I was beaten like that, or worse, and I turned out fine.”

But let’s look at this “logic” used by those defending the right for a parent to beat a 4-year-old with a stick so badly that they bleed, shall we?

In fact, I’m going to use the Ray Rice situation a little bit to try to make my point.

Most people will generally agree that Rice’s assault of his then-fiancée was both appalling and a crime. There’s not a whole lot of gray area there. Especially when you see the video footage of it. Now, imagine if that video footage had shown him brutally beating her with a stick. Imagine it showed him beating her so badly that she had whip marks all over her back, thighs and other parts of her body, causing welts and drawing blood in several areas. Rice wouldn’t be appealing an indefinite suspension by the NFL – he’d be in jail.

Yet that’s exactly what Adrian Peterson did to his 4-year-old son. And that’s exactly what many people seem to be defending.

I just don’t get it.

Had Peterson done what he did to his 4-year-old son to an adult female he was in a relationship with, he’d be labeled a reprehensible monster guilty of a horrific act of domestic violence. Yet because he did this to his defenseless 4-year-old son, to many, that makes him a “good father”? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

And it’s ridiculous to use the excuse of, “I was beaten like that as a child” to justify Peterson’s behavior. Just because you were abused as a child doesn’t make it alright to abuse your children.

If someone experienced sexual abuse when they were a child, does that justify them becoming a sexual predator as an adult? Hell no.

So how can anyone logically justify child abuse just because they were abused? And I’m sorry to tell you, if your parents beat you with some form of a weapon to the point that you were bleeding, you were abused. 

If stuffing leaves in a 4-year-old child’s mouth and beating them with a stick to the point that they have open wounds all over their body isn’t child abuse – just what the hell is? For those defending Peterson’s actions, at what point is the “abuse” threshold crossed? Does he need to beat him with closed fists? Throw him into a wall? Kick him down stairs?

Just where is that line drawn?

But it’s amazing to me that had Peterson done this to a grown adult woman, he’d undoubtedly be charged with a crime and very few (if any) people would be defending him. But because he did it to his defenseless 4-year-old son, to some, that makes him a good parent.

If you honestly feel that’s good parenting, I sincerely hope you never have children of your own.

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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