Criticism mounting for Vikings, Adrian Peterson
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — For as long as he’s been in the NFL, Adrian Peterson has been one of the most popular and most marketable stars in the league, an approachable superstar with the kind of inspirational comeback story that made him an endorser’s dream.
Now that he is facing a felony charge of child abuse for spanking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch, the Minnesota Vikings running back is facing criticism like he never has before. In the wake of the Vikings’ decision to allow Peterson to play while the legal process plays out in Texas, at least one team sponsor has suspended its relationship with the team, the governor has issued a public rebuke and stores are pulling Peterson merchandise from their shelves.
“It is an awful situation,” Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday. “Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.”