My thoughts on the Adrian Peterson situation (but first, some backstory):
- I was spanked as a child. I'm pretty sure most of us that grew up in the 80s were.
- Until the summer between 5th and 6th grade I lived in Charelston, SC and from 6th to 11th grade, North Chicaco, IL. I have seen every form of discipline doled out on a child. I've seen spankings, beatings, hairbrushes smacked into heads, spoons hitting the tops of heads, whips, belts and even switches. I've seen it all.
- Most of you know that my son is named after a little boy who died from child abuse injuries. Injuries he sustained over a year long period. Five years old and that sweet little boy was taken from all of us. He's been gone for 18 years and the pain of his death is still agonizing. He would be 23 next month had he not been murdered.
Here are some reasons/excuses/defenses I have heard regarding this case:
- Adrian Peterson was raised with the same discipline (switch spanking) used on him - That's a deplorable reason to defend your actions. I know a few people that I love more than life itself that were horribly abused as children. Guess what? They broke that cycle. They are loving, caring, sensitive adults that have children of their own and would never strike their child the way they had been as children themselves. We can't keep excusing present behaviors of ADULTS by blaming it on what happened when they were children. Memories are forever, children don't forget the physical pain or the mental anguish that comes with being abused. It stays with you forever. But you can't use the past as an excuse for horrible behavior.
- The boy must have done something to deserve it - what on earth could a 4year old have done to warrant a switch spanking? Let me tell you something: my son is 11 years old and he could probably take me out (and I don't mean to dinner and a movie). He's very strong, has anger issues and his autism hinders him from reacting properly or resetting himself before getting physical. He has kicked me in the stomach when I was pregnant, he has choked his sister, he has held a butcher knife up to his throat wanting to kill himself, he has punched or kicked me. It never once ocurred to me to use physical discipline on him to stop these behaviors. AP's son is four years old. FOUR YEARS OLD. I'm sure no matter how out of control that child may have been, a physically fit professionial athlete could handle it without beating on the child.
- He can't be taken out of the game, he's one of the best running backs - to this I say fuck you. That's football. A game. This is a child. A small human being.
- I'm waiting for the investigation to be over to get all the information/We don't know all the facts - Here's what we DO know: there is photographic evidence of injuries sustained by this child. There is grand jury testimony by Peterson himself admitting that he hit the child several times with the switch. There is a text to the child's mother where Peterson said "I got him the nuts". (He hit a four year old in the testicles with a switch - I'm going to throw up) Peterson admitted that he put leaves in the child's mouth during all of this. Leaves. In a child's mouth. What else do we need to know? Someone please tell me this.
- He's a nice guy/He made a mistake - I'm sure he is. He advocates for Special Olympics, underprivileged children, etc. That doesn't change what he did. I'm sure that most drunk drivers are super nice people before they drink. Yet they get behind the wheel and cause accidents that kill people and destroy families. What do almost all of them say in court? "I didn't mean to. I'm a good person." Doesn't change anything does it? Doesn't bring back those victims does it?
When Ray Rice punched his fiance/wife and knocked her out cold, everyone got their panties in a bunch and rightfully so. Where are all these people now? Where's the outrage towards Peterson? Is a child's life valued as less than a grown up?? That's what I see and hear. Every time someone says he was raised the same way, I picture a father knocking a mother out cold and the son doing that as an adult. No one would excuse that would they? No, they wouldn't. And they shouldn't. It's the same damn thing here. Is Peterson going to skate by on this with the NFL because of who he is? He's deemed more important to the league than Ray Rice? How does that happen? Ray Rice punched an adult (not right). Adrian Peterson switch spanked a child who has lacerations A WEEK LATER still. Not right.
Have we all forgotten that last year Adrian Peterson's 2yo son was beaten to death in N. Dakota?? Have you forgotten that? I haven't. His 4yo son didn't die from these injuries but no one is making the connection? So you're going to wait until a kid dies and THEN it's ok to be disgusted and pissed off. My son's namesake dropped a pizza and for that he was thrown against a bed and had his collarbone broken. He was given a lethal amount of cough syrup with codeine in it and had to be airlifted to the hospital. He was locked out of his house (at 4yo) in the middle of the night with only underwear on, forced to sleep in the dog house. Literally. His arm was broken. He was shoved off a 6foot ladder. He was in a coma for 12 days. He died. My son's namesake was abused for over a year and no one in authority did anything. And for that we lost a beautiful child. If Peterson can leave marks on his 4yo son like that, hit his son in the testicles with a switch and shove leaves in his mouth, what else is he capable of?
People, you need to stand by your convictions and beliefs. I don't usually go on like this about sensitive subjects because I hate confrontation and I really don't like arguing. This though? This demands that I say something. As much as I am a fan of the Vikings, I find it horrenous and disgusting that they are having Peterson practice this week and play in the game Sunday. I won't be watching any of the games this season (not that the team is giving a good reason to anyway with crappy plays). If you think he should skate on this, that he's just a father discipling his child, that's your opinion and I won't fault you for that. Everyone has an asshole and everyone has an opinion. I'm voicing my opinion. Don't be an asshole.
When a child hits a child, it's called agression.
When a child hits an adult, it's called hostility.
When an adult hits an adult, it's called assault.
When an adult hits a child, it's called discipline.
Seems pretty clear to me.