UPDATE: Peterson was evidently cleared in this most recent case because he did not cause the scarring. More from KHOU:
Sources close to the investigation tell TMZ the reason the case went nowhere is because Adrian did NOT strike the boy in the forehead……
— Seth Kaplan (@Seth_Kaplan) September 16, 2014
but instead the child accidentally hit his head on a carseat while Adrian was punishing him.
— Seth Kaplan (@Seth_Kaplan) September 16, 2014
I don’t know if this means things are going to settle.
UPDATE2: Mike Garafolo has a statement from Hardin:
In statement, Adrian Peterson’s atty Rusty Hardin says second allegation against his client is a year old + authorities “took no action.”
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 16, 2014
Hardin: “An adult witness admittedly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son.” — Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 16, 2014
UPDATE3: Radisson Hotels is suspending its sponshorship of the Vikings –
Radisson Hotels suspending it’s sponsorship of the #Vikings immediately!
— FOX 9 Sports (@Fox9Sports) September 16, 2014
They had a pretty big sponsorship, and their logo is on the screen behind the podium of every Vikings presser. This is their statement:
Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children. We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.
UPDATE4: Vikings have released the following statement:
As part of the information we have gathered throughout this process, we were made aware of an allegation from 2013 in which authorities took no action against Adrian. We will defer any further questions to Adrian’s attorney Rusty Hardin.
This should mean no further action regarding Adrian.
UPDATE5: If you’re still following this story, the governor of the state of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, has released a statement about the proceedings.
It is an awful situation. 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.
However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota – and in Minnesota. This has been the team’s only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.
As you can imagine, the governor who pushed through the Vikings stadium bill is in a bit of a bind, as he needs to defend having the Vikings in Minnesota, but cannot help but condemn their actions. You may not like Dayton politically or personally, but it remains significant that a public figure very important for the Vikings is outspoken against what they did.
UPDATE6: More companies are distancing themselves from the Vikings, NFL or Peterson.
Nike has pulled all their Adrian Peterson merchandise from their stores (you can still buy them online). Anheuser-Busch has released the following statement:
We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied with the league’s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and expectations with the league.
The Anheuser-Busch contract is a six-year, $1.2 billion deal.
Mylan, the sponsor Adrian was working with to raise awareness for allergy issues, has pulled its sponsorship, saying “our work with him is now complete.”
UPDATE7: Looks like a mutual cancellation this time of an event dealing with domestic violence:
Vikings and Catholic Charities canceled event at St. Joseph’s Home for Children, which gives shelter to kids affected by abuse, instability.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) September 16, 2014
About 50 kids were expected to participate in St. Joseph’s Home for Children Play 60 event learning football basics w/6 #Vikings players
— Master Tesfatsion (@MasterStrib) September 16, 2014
UPDATE8: Another politician has jumped on board the “bench Adrian” train—Al Franken. Statement below:
It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear about what happened to this child. I’m a diehard Vikings fan, and watching the games on Sundays has been one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid. But this is just wrong, and I think the Vikings made the wrong decision here. This is in the hands of law enforcement now, and it must go through the judicial process, but I don’t believe Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play until that happens. A lot of kids look up to these players, and it’s not ok for the Vikings to send the signal that what happened is acceptable. This is bigger than a football game.
UPDATE9: After Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk wondered if the University of Minnesota was going to be next, they have released the following statement, per Andrew Krammer of 1500 ESPN:
The Agreement does not govern the Vikings’ personnel decisions concerning conduct unrelated to Stadium
UPDATE10: Fran Tarkenton is “embarrassed” by the Vikings’ decision, he says in an interview with TSN (Tim Graham and David William Naylor). He says “these people should not be playing.” He points the finger directly at the owner.
UPDATE11: According to KSTP (by way of the Star Tribune), Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation is on hiatus. Further, Special Olympics MN has severed its ties with Peterson. They previously worked with Peterson on a number of issues, including putting together PSAs, hosting charity golf events, holding clinics and so on.
UPDATE12: ProFootballtalk is hearing the Vikings could reverse the decision to reinstate Adrian:
Don’t be surprised if Vikings reverse course on letting Adrian Peterson play this Sunday. Hearing that Monday’s decision could change.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 16, 2014
UPDATE13: The NFL has responded to the Anheuser-Busch move—”We understand. We are taking action and there will be much more to come.”
UPDATE14: And now the All Day Foundation is taking shots at the media. Currently on their website:
We have taken the Adrian Peterson’s All Day Foundation website offline to protect our charity partners from the continued harassment they have received from the media.
Unfortunately, over the past few years when there was positive news, the media paid little attention to our nonprofit partners. Now, the charities are being harassed, judged and placed in uncomfortable positions. They are being pushed to make statements and business decisions that are taking time away from the good work they are doing.
The Foundation will continue to support the causes that Adrian and his family care about and will consider how the current situation impacts the direction for Adrian’s philanthropy.
UPDATE15: University of Minnesota Health, the Vikings’ health provider, has released a statement:
University of Minnesota Health is in the process of evaluating the situation related to the Vikings sponsorship and will issue a statement when any decisions are made.
UPDATE16: The mother of the four-year old child has released as statement through her team:
We represent the mother of the minor child of Adrian Peterson, the NFL player that is the subject of an indictment in Montgomery County, Texas. My client, on behalf of herself and their son, wishes to express her extreme outrage at the invasion of their privacy that has occurred through the publication of highly confidential and private data obtained regarding them by the press without their permission or consent. My client is hurt and outraged that the press would publish throughout the world pictures of their minor son and publish statements allegedly made as part of the private and confidential criminal investigative file. My client asks the press and the public to respect the privacy rights of herself their son by immediately removing any and all pictures and statements that are part of the private and confidential criminal investigative file and that should not be in the possession of the press and the public. My client, on behalf of herself and their son, asks the press to immediately cease and desist from further publicizing private and confidential information about herself o their son gathered in connection with the indictment of Mr. Peterson.
In making this statement it is the mother’s intent to not comment at this time with respect to any matters involving the case.
Unless Adam decides otherwise, we will not be taking down the texts published by KHOU news, in part because as the story has become public and awareness and discussion of the issues of corporal punishment, child injury and child abuse are driven forward, establishing the different degrees of intent is a critical part of the conversation.
We have never hosted the photos.
UPDATE17: The All Day Foundation is offline. and have published a message with that simple statement.
UPDATE18: Wheaties is no longer contractually connected to Peterson, but they had his image on their website until Monday.
UPDATE19: Castrol has ended its relationship with Adrian Peterson.
In light of recent event, Castrol has decided to end our relationship with Adrian Peterson.
Original story below, including the embarrassing bit about trusting KHOU News.
We’re going down the rabbit hole, and it appears that Adrian Peterson injured another son over the course of disciplinary duties as a father. While not surprising by itself in terms of consistency—we know this is the kind of discipline that Adrian prefers for his children—it does establish that the last incident is not a one-off happenstance where Adrian underestimated his strength or the size of the switch and went too far. Texts below, courtesy of KHOU news, the local CBS affiliate for Houston:
Mother: “What happened to his head?”
Peterson: “Hit his head on the Carseat.”
Mother: “How does that happen, he got a whoopin in the car.”
Peterson: “I felt so bad. But he did it his self.”
The news segment is up at Deadspin. There’s multiple photos of the injury aired there, as well as one on the news station’s Twitter feed. Significantly, he left a scar. When the mother asked about the instrument used to deliver the blow, Peterson didn’t respond.
The mother filed a report with Child Protective Services, which is important, because regardless of your opinion on corporal punishment and the primacy of parental control in determining punishments, it seems ethically prior that the parents at least agree on punishment at all. Though she filed that complaint with CPS, the outcome is unclear, per KHOU.
I’m not entirely clear on whether or not the scar was caused by Peterson or by something that happened in the car, so the level of ambiguity is at least different here. It seems that KHOU has an assumption that it was, which may be reasonable given the information they have.
There are a lot more text messages to later be aired that you can see if you pause the broadcast as well, but those seem the most significant. Peterson’s legal team had no comment. According to McCann Sports Law, Hardin will argue that the introduction of evidence regarding the second child should be inadmissible:
Rusty Hardin will argue evidence of Adrian Peterson injuring other son is prejudicial to abuse case involving 1st son and thus inadmissible.
— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) September 16, 2014
Once again… updates as more develops here.