Faceoff: Adrian Peterson punishment


United States District Court Judge David S. Doty ordered the National Football League to overturn Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s suspension on Thursday Feb. 26. A federal judge ruled this. So why is this still an issue?

Peterson was initially suspended on Nov. 18 for what the NFL called “an incident of abusive discipline” toward his 4-year-old son. Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault after being charged with felony reckless or negligent injury of a child in September. When people found out about Peterson’s aggressive discipline of his child, the nation erupted––former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s case of domestic abuse was still at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Peterson was the victim of an ultra-sensitive society where every move an athlete makes is overanalyzed. His act was not heinous and did not warrant an indefinite suspension from the NFL. The league continues to interfere in players’ lives too much to benefit its own image. The league is scared of activists who scrutinize its players and hinder the value of the league.

In the end, it’s a game of money. If the television ratings and revenues are affected, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will take action to fix it.


Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s suspension for using a wooden switch to discipline his four-year-old son was overturned on Thursday Feb. 26. Peterson was supposed to be eligible for reinstatement on April 15.

Many claim that Peterson did not get any special treatment for being a professional athlete when charged. Instead of serving what could have been two years in prison, however, Peterson just had to complete parenting classes and 80 hours of community service. For a league where this isn’t the first recent violence case—Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy and others can’t be forgotten—it certainly feels like Peterson got off easy.

Even financially, Peterson was let off the hook. What could have been a $10,000 fine was only $4,000. For the highest paid running back in the National Football League, that is less than pocket change. While on suspension, Peterson wasn’t paid. But by having his suspension ended earlier than April 15, Peterson will be eligible for free agency—assuming the Vikings cut him—starting on Tuesday March 10. His reputation may be blemished, but many teams are interested in signing Peterson. If this happens, it will be as if all is forgotten.

Peterson expressed that he will be a better player in 2015 after only getting 23 touches in 2014. Someone who is truly remorseful for abusing his child should not be celebrating how his suspension will make him all the better. Peterson has not adequately learned his lesson; he hasn’t been adequately punished and should still be suspended.