Early this morning we learned that the Minnesota Vikings reversed course on allowing Adrian Peterson to play this Sunday, putting him on an exemption list until the matter is resolved. Meaning that he’s barred from all team activities until then.
Though if you listened to Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman and Head Coach Mike Zimmer the other day, it seems they were confident that allowing Peterson to play was the “right choice.”
Heck, Spielman went as far as to say,“We feel strongly as an organization this is disciplining a child.” Now I bolded that one part because it’s important. That is indeed a bold statement – because the facts of this case aren’t in dispute. Peterson has readily admitted that he is the one responsible for marks and scars left on his 4-year-old son from a beating with a wooden stick. A beating that was so severe it caused the child to bleed and have open wounds all over his body.
None of that is in dispute. Nor are the disturbing images that go along with that beating.
The “facts,” as they were, are pretty much settled. The only question is whether or not this should be considered child abuse. A couple of days ago the Vikings themselves came out and clearly stated that they felt “strongly” that this wasn’t child abuse, but just the ordinary discipline of a child.
Spielman also said about the decision to let Peterson play, “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.”
Well, guess what? Absolutely no facts have changed since that statement and the Vikings latest decision to finally ban Peterson from the team until this case is settled.
None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
The facts are exactly as they were when they made these asinine statements just a couple of days ago.
Though Mark Wilf, part of the Vikings ownership, laughably tried to claim that pressure from corporate sponsors had nothing to do with this decision:
“We hear their input, but in the end, we as ownership, we as a franchise and we have to make sure the team was moving in the right direction, and in the end we felt this was the right decision. So we made a mistake and we’re doing the right thing.”
But the reality is, one of two things most likely happened:
- Roger Goodell got on the phone with the Vikings and told them that they either needed to ban him from the team until this matter is resolved or he would take that decision out of their hands, making the franchise look even worse than it already does. – or –
- The continued stream of corporate sponsors fleeing the Minnesota Vikings (and the thought of losing millions of dollars) forced the team to make this decision out of fear that they’d lose even more sponsorships.
Or possibly even both.
But make no mistake, this decision has nothing to do with Peterson’s disgusting and brutal assault of his 4-year-old son. Because, again, those facts haven’t changed one bit from last week when they first surfaced following his indictment.
And if the team felt “strongly” that this was simply the disciplining of a child, as the GM stated just a couple of days ago, then they should feel that same way today. Because like I said, the “facts” haven’t changed.
So, am I glad that the Vikings have banned Peterson from the team until this matter is resolved? Absolutely.
But this decision coming so soon after the organization had such strong words of support for Peterson, after several corporate sponsors had suspended operations with the team, just shows that their decision has nothing to do with this horrific beating of a 4-year-old and everything to do with money.
Which is not at all surprising, even if it’s still a disheartening thing to realize. Greed can be such an overwhelming desire that even the beating of a defenseless 4-year-old child with a stick until they bled didn’t matter. It wasn’t until the owners’ pocketbooks began to feel the impact from the backlash of their decision to let Peterson play that they ultimately made the “right decision” to bar him from team activities.
But the Vikings can’t claim that this was ultimately the “right decision,” when it was clearly made based on greed and not a moral response to the savage beating of a defenseless child.