Yesterday, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson reach a plea agreement with the Montgomery County, Texas prosecutor’s office over charges he abused his 4 year old son. Mr. Peterson has pled no contest to one misdemeanor count of reckless assault, fined $4,000, and required to complete 80 hours of community service. He is currently participating in parenting classes. He will be on probation and if he avoids any trouble his record will be expunged in two years.
Mr. Peterson has been nothing but forthcoming about this parenting techniques and has cooperated with the prosecutor’s office, as well as the NFL during this time. So, the question that remains is what is the NFL going to do? Currently, Mr. Peterson is on the Commissioner’s exempt list, which means he can’t play but he is still being paid.
Dan Wetzel with Yahoo Sports wrote an excellent blog yesterday indicating this is a golden opportunity for not only Adrian Peterson, but also for the NFL to speak out and educate fans about domestic violence. Mr. Wetzel suggests, “Peterson’s punishment (or opportunity) going forward should be to take what he has learned (and will continue to learn) about abuse, anger management, parenting, child development and everything else and impart it to the public at large. If the NFL wants to make an impact on America then it should utilize Peterson’s celebrity and credibility in hard-to-reach communities and require him to lead on the subject of child abuse.” I completely agree with Mr. Wetzel’s opinions on this issue and think the NFL needs to run with Mr. Wetzel’s suggestions and return Adrian Peterson to work.
The NFL has suffered a lot of negative publicity since the start of the season, and here is a prime opportunity to take a bad event and turn it around so something good can come out of it.