For those who have not had the chance to react or understand what has happened to Adrian Peterson, Phenom Running back for the Minnesota Vikings has been charged with felony child abuse and the NFL and his team has restricted him from playing until his legal matters are worked out.
“The 4-year-old is by a different mother than the alleged victim in the Montgomery County case, in which Peterson is charged with felony injury to a child. In that case, Peterson admits to repeatedly striking the boy with a tree branch or “switch,” but has maintained he did not intend to harm the child, and was using his judgment as a parent to discipline his son.” (USA TODAY)
The fact that I will no longer be able to have him in my fantasy league hurts but I don’t want to take away from the primary issue here, parental discipline. I’m conflicted on this issue overall because I have experienced discipline in a wide variety of ways. Earlier this year I wrote about Bringing Down the Law and again I feel that this particular instance is not worthy of a felony charge in my opinion. I have experienced a Willow switch as a punishment. I am willing to wager that any of my readers who have grown up south of the Canadian border has also experienced this particular punishment. (I’m sure my Canadian readers may have also experienced it but you get the point.) This is a form of discipline much like a belt or hand.
TMZ Sports released these photos but I collected them from IJREVIEW.
Look at this objectively. First, why was he being punished? I have looked but I don’t believe there has been a statement that explains what his son did to spark any punishment. If someone has it please send me an email or comment because I don’t like to be misinformed. If he called Adrian a “poopy head” then the punishment does not fit the crime but if his son punched his baby sister or something (I don’t know the full family tree of Adrian Peterson or his kids.) then I could see something like this happening. As a personal survivor of various forms of child abuse in my life, the wounds that are depicted above are relatively minor compared to child abuse images that we normally connect child abuse with.
My issue overall comes down to this, at what point do parents have the right to discipline their own kids without having to be concerned with child abuse charges. If your kid comes to school looking like he got in a fight with a Honey Badger or something then obviously there should be concern for the child. Basically, child abuse needs to be looked at with a serious eye and by a professional who can “grade” the level of alleged abuse. Furthermore, felony charges need to be reserved for appropriate offenses.
This brings me back around to the issue of the day, Adrian Peterson. Is he a father who was disciplining his son and maybe went over the line of discipline or was he within his rights of raising his son and disciplining him according to his values? Voice your opinions!!