Yes, after months of not blogging, of my only updates being book reviews, I’m going to write about the Adrian Peterson drama. But I’m going to write about something I’ve not seen covered yet. First, though, a possible disclaimer: I was horrified in 2007 when Peterson announced he was leaving my Alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, for the NFL draft. Then I was elated when my favorite pro team, the Minnesota Vikings, chose him with the seventh pick of the first round. It’s been a pleasure to watch Peterson play all these years, and to live in the fading illusion that he was one of those rare people who remained kind and humble despite his status.
Photos of his child and transcripts of his alleged text messages regarding the discipline he meted out seem to show that might not be the case.
I’ll say up front that I am not opposed to corporeal punishment for children when the offense warrants it. I was spanked with hands, wooden paddles, and once with a belt. I’ve spanked my kids. I have felt like the lowest pile of crap to ever be squeezed onto the face of the earth afterward, but I’ve done it. My parents never, and I have never “whooped” a naked child in a manner that would leave him or her marked like the photos of Peterson’s son. I can’t imagine living with myself if I ever did something like that.
But this blog isn’t about the switching of his child. See, when the news first broke, I thought back to last year when it was reported that his son had died. Now he has one he’s switched? Then here comes news of yet another son and accusations he hit that child in the head. All these sons have different mothers.
Is there a little Peterson Jr. in every American city with an NFL franchise? What the heck? With all his millions, can’t Adrian buy a box of condoms?
But this army of baby mamas isn’t even mentioned in the news. It’s no big deal for a rich, popular athlete in his prime to have progeny with multiple women in various states. What does this say about our society? About our values?
Maybe if Peterson was a full-time father he would learn patience, restraint, and the joy that comes with being a dad. Maybe if those boys had a father in their lives providing daily guidance and being a role model they wouldn’t do things to earn a switching. (I say that sarcastically, because no 4-year-old could possibly earn the beating shown in those pictures.)
I can’t know the details of Peterson’s life and relationships. Neither can I imagine the mindset of the baby mamas. So, this famous athlete knocks you up, you have his kid, you don’t live with him, you know he has other women and other kids elsewhere, but you still send your child, unaccompanied, to the father’s home for an extended stay? Why aren’t THEY being indicted for negligence and child endangerment?
Welcome to America, the land of selfish instant gratification.
Adrian, it isn’t so much that you should have left the switch on the tree as you should have left your wood in your pants. Maybe Billy Sims will make you a partner in his barbecue restaurant chain since it seems your days of employment as a professional athlete are likely about to end.