Peterson was deactivated for the Vikings’ Week 2 game against the New England Patriots after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. In a prepared statement Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf said:
“Today’s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration. As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue.
On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved. To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child.
At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing. Currently we believe we are at a juncture where the most appropriate next step is to allow the judicial process to move forward. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and support Adrian’s fulfillment of his legal responsibilities throughout this process.”
While I have no inside knowledge of the Vikings’ organization, I will offer my interpretation of same said press release:
I believe the Vikings made a decision that benefits the organization. As you may know, the Minnesota Vikings are tied for first place in the NFC North. And without Peterson, their chances to reach the NFL postseason is significantly decreased. Thus, the Vikings believe Mr. Peterson when he claims to only have been disciplining his child. Accordingly, Mr. Peterson deserves due process.
With due respect, all evidence to the contrary.
Many news outlets report Peterson texted the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I [sic] thigh. . . . Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”
Peterson even went so far as to post several Biblical quote on his Twitter feed, refferincing several Bible verses about the harms of judging, such as the famous passage from Matthew 7:1, ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.‘
But just as all of us claim to know exactly what happened to Janay Rice in that casino elevator, we also know what happened to Peterson’s 4-year old. Vikings GM Rick Spielman can claim what happened to this child was “discipline,” but we know otherwise. How the Vikings’ organization will continue to sell that message is beyond me.
Still, Peterson’s attorney Rusty Hardin infers, “Mr. Peterson is a loving father, providing tough love to his child.”
I’ve seen countless men and women attempt to rationalize excessive violence. However, acceptance is one of many central keys to relationships. As we confront difficulties on the financial front, couples are beginning to embrace the life and the relationship they have, rather than some idea of how it could“if only” be. We must cut each other more slack, making an effort to be less critical and demanding. There has to be more interest and focus on the relationship.
In living the precept, do no harm, let go of judgment and infuse some humor and equanimity. Remember, women and children are our future, they deserve our respect and dignity.
Still … I wonder … had Ray Rice openly said he provided tough love and tweeted a few Bible verses, would he be reinstated?