Adrian Peterson is returning to the Minnesota Vikings, the team just announced. The franchise released the following statement from team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf:
There is a lot to unpack in this situation. To me, having seen the photos of Peterson’s four-year-old son, coupled with Peterson’s reported admissions that he more or less did what he’s accused of, it’s hard to imagine Peterson back on the field so quickly. I can understand the point Charles Barkley made about cultural norms, and recognize that Peterson’s intentions were not evil, but this type of discipline is so different from anything I grew up accustomed to that it’s impossible to accept as alright.
One could see the league or the team reconsidering the Wilfs’ decision if backlash reaches a point that public sentiment did with Greg Hardy this past week, causing the Panthers to go back on what they’d said they expected to do all the way up until 90 minutes before kickoff.
[UPDATE: Adrian Peterson has released a statement.]
My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.
I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.
I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.
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. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.
I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.
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. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.
I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.
Related: Charles Barkley on Adrian Peterson: “Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble, or in jail, under those circumstances”
Related: Viking Fan Tailgating in Adrian Peterson Jersey, Tree Branch in Hand
Related: Adrian Peterson Booked and Released From Montgomery County Jail