I may have some bias here because A-Pete is on 2 of my fantasy teams but there will be some valid points provided throughout this post on why A-Pete should be able to play football before season’s end.
Immediate Quote from Peterson lawyer Rusty Hardin: “Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened. He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours…
Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
The Law: Corporal punishment is legal in every state. The Texas Attorney General’s Office notes that belts and brushes “are accepted by many as legitimate disciplinary ‘tools,'” but “electrical or phone cords, boards, yardsticks, ropes, shoes, and wires are likely to be considered instruments of abuse.”
Legal experts say the final determination of what is reasonable discipline will be based on the standards found in the local community – and Texas law offers no definition of what that is. It says the use of non-deadly force against someone younger than 18 is justified if a parent or guardian “reasonably believes the force is necessary to discipline the child or to safeguard or promote his welfare.”
What Happens Next? Peterson’s lawyers are asking to move the trial up so A Pete can defend himself earlier than the December 1st date set. The job of Peterson’s lawyers is to convince a jury that this is corporal punishment and not child abuse.
What I Think
Thousands of children are beaten by their parents every year (this number is a guess and it may be way more) and Adrian is so high profile that this hoopla has to surround the incident. I certainly don’t condone the behavior but I earnestly believe that this type of discipline is much more culturally accepted in the South than other areas. My dad used to spank me when I was around 4 years old and as much as it isn’t the ideal method of discipline, I learned the lesson. Of course hitting a child with a stick and beating him across his legs (and I’ve read in other reports genitals), that’s overdoing it.
Adrian’s potentially faces up to two years in state jail and a fine if convicted, but also could get probation and/or agree to undergo counseling on child discipline. Wat? 2 years in prison for this? We all know what he did was wrong but there are millions of people committing way worse crimes than hitting your own child for disciplinary reasons. You could have this happen to 99% of the players in the NFL and it’s not a story. Because it’s Adrian Peterson, it’s different. That’s not fair. It’s making an example and I’m pretty sure he won’t be doing it again. Forgive and forget. Not this time.
What I think will happen is the trial will be moved up, A Pete will be found not guilty, and life moves on.