Off-The-Field IssuesOpinion

Adrian Peterson Will Not Avoid Consequences, But Supporting Change Should Be Top Priority

Being the NFL’s best running back does not place Adrian Peterson above the law. It certainly will not gain him any leniency when it comes to the investigative and disciplinarian arms of the NFL.  The court of public opinion won’t hesitate to hang him.  He is not immune to the scorn of his own family and his own children.

That last one, and arguably the most important one, are consequences that might not be fully realized until Peterson’s children are old enough to grasp the idea of forgiveness for themselves.

All the facts are not known. Peterson hasn’t even even addressed the issue, yet.  The legal process is only just beginning, as is the personal conduct review by the NFL and the Vikings.  Still, it seems evident that Adrian Peterson’s legacy has forever changed and irreversible damage has been done.

I’m plenty willing to admit a cultural difference exists between Texas (where Peterson grew up) and Minnesota (where I grew up), and that parenting is an unique challenge that doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but I don’t really care.  As a father of beautiful two and four year old children, you can bet your ass that there would be lawyers (and, perhaps, other things) if anyone ever returned my children to me in the condition described in the police report from this case.

I think what he did was unequivocally wrong and that he has no good excuse for not knowing that, given the events that took place last year when another man beat another one of Peterson’s son to death, and the All Day Foundation’s commitment to Cornerstone and “Breaking the cycle of domestic violence.”

I have pondered in the past about Peterson’s attitude towards off-field trouble and been in favor of punishing him, via benchings and fines, if it meant preventing issues larger than speeding tickets and bar brawls from arising.  Obviously, the punishments that were doled out didn’t do the trick.  I’ve been harsh on him, and other prominent Vikings players, during past instances of off-field turmoil.

I say all of this because what I am about to write might be construed, in the minds of some, as me aligning myself with the crowd sympathetic to Peterson and abusers of children.

I assure you, that is not my intent.

I think the government, the NFL, the team, and the money-spending public should all fairly and justly punish Peterson.  I’m not going to pretend to know what exactly that punishment is, but I’m in favor of just about anything within reason.

However, there are going to be people in each of those groups, and within the Peterson family, that might be inclined to actually help Peterson become a better man and a better father.  If the outrage being expressed by the masses really boils down to the well-being of a young child, then the handling of the punishment and the distribution of support should carry the same priority.

I’m not saying that prison time, or an NFL suspension, or a release from the Vikings are not good options.  I’m saying I don’t know. Only people close to Peterson, those that know him well, can possibly have an idea of what it will take to improve Adrian Peterson as a person.

Many Vikings greats, like Cris Carter and Jared Allen, had to make major changes in their lives before they could be fully respected as football players.  Peterson was already fully respected as a football player, and has lost that respect by most accounts, and has a long ways to go before he earns it back.  It isn’t impossible, though, and for the sake of his children I hope he works his ass off to make it happen.

This stream of thoughts isn’t particularly insightful, and it certainly isn’t well organized, but I’m just as furious and disappointed and conflicted as the rest of you.  I don’t know if Peterson will ever play for the Vikings again, but I do hope that he is able to make peace within his family, even if the healing has to happen over years or decades.

In the end, this is a sad situation, and I really hope it has the best of all possible outcomes.

Show More

Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

Related Articles


  1. Very well said Adam. People make mistakes. It is unrealistic to think otherwise. I’ve made my share, and it is easy to pile on and say things like…release him! Or put him in jail, he should never play football again. But when it happens to you…you’ll see it differently, I promise.
    He should be disciplined, no doubt, and he will be. But I’m glad so far the Vikings have done a good job of handling this. De-activating him was a smart move…It lets them step back from this and think level headed. No knee jerk. Let the media and twitter world take care of that. They have lined up to throw their stones.
    I don’t support releasing him. Would do more harm than good. AD is not perfect, he messed up. Maybe some of you have not messed up seriously like this…I have. I thank God my wife stood by me. Hopefully his will as well. Any support is welcome. And taking away his livelihood, I don’t think, would be helpful.
    If he ever steps on the field again I will be cheering him, especially if he’s in a Viking uniform.
    And no I don’t believe what he did is okay.

    1. Thanks, CC, another hard time to be a Vikings fan. We go through a lot together, this group of fans…

  2. Initially I thought this was liberal America over sensitizing a guy disciplining his kid but after seeing the pictures yeah that’s pretty bad. I feel sorry for the kid and wonder how AD could be that stupid.

    1. A lot of people still think that’s what this is, SKOL. I’m not one of them, but I am also not going to discredit anyone who thinks differently. Domestic abuse is something our elected officials have been unable to solve on a national, state, or local level… anywhere. I don’t expect everyone to have the same definition or be on the same page when it comes to the NFL.

  3. You have a position of responsibility in reporting Vikings football. Not using it to put yourself on a platform to give helping hand in destroying the man’s career. He’s doing a good enough job as it is.
    You don’t know him. You don’t know how he was raised. This is to sad time for NFL football. What you don’t seem to understand is Adrian thinks he is doing right by his son with his discipline. Yes he went way over the top. It makes me sick. But I dont read your page to hear your personal opinion on his business outside of football. I read your page to gather information on my teams next game. To have imformative articles on players and opponents . Not to read personal opinion crap about a problems.
    When the story broke I was sick. My son’s are sick. I don’t believe corporeal punishment. I didn’t raise my children that way. I have two teenage boys who are devastated by this. We spent almost 4 hours talking through this.

    1. Thanks for the comments, TC, I appreciate your insight, especially the longer comments you’ve previously left regarding the Kluwe accusations. I apologize if this is not what you came here to read about and encourage you to read one of our fine previews of the upcoming game, especially the one from Arif. As fair warning, though, I do encourage all of our writers to share their personal opinions and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing yours.

    2. Also, if I gave the impression that I was trying to give Adrian a helping hand in destroying his career, then I think I did a poor job of conveying the intended message. Again, I apologize.

  4. I could support the team releasing or trading him immediately.

    I could support the team releasing or trading him if (when) he’s found guilty.

    I could support the team keeping him on the roster with an understanding that he had to complete some kind of rehab and speak publicly about his change of mind before playing again, next year at the earliest.

    That’s about it, given what’s been reported so far.

    1. All fair, I think… but like I said, we haven’t heard everything yet, and this is all still fresh and seems to be fluid.

    2. The impractical side of keeping him for this year, with his $12+++M. cap hit, then maintaining his $15M salary for next year, would have fans up in arms, be a HUGE distraction, and I think is unreasonable for Wilf/Spielman to accept. The team may very well be stuck eating that $12m this year, so we will just have to chalk it up as a significant loss/dead money and move on. It would seem foretold that he won’t play again this year, and he will be a year older, with the PR baggage of a troubled 30+ yr old RB next year to boot. No matter what his great accomplishments may have been in the past, he has put himself in a different place now. He has also been extremely well compensated for those accomplishments, so we should not feel he is OWED anything at this point. For this team to be the most competitive for the near future, that $15m cap hit next year could be very well spent to upgrade in several areas.

  5. I couldn’t care less about Peterson. I care about the Vikings. Adrian is someone else’s problem, I hope, I guess.

    1. Okay, but up until Friday, if you cared about one you cared about the other. He’s been the face of this franchise for quite some time now.

  6. I say what he did is inexcusable and he should be gone. I say try to unload him quick. Their must be some team willing to take a chance on him. Maybe we could get a 2nd tier replacement and a mid level pick.

  7. I say there are still far too many people judging by what they have read in the first two days after a report. Ya think maybe we let the whole story play out before stoning the man? I have read a few posts on here that have simply made me sick with the judgement they laid down. I don’t know how all the legal fallout is gonna end, neither do any of you. PC says cut the idiot, oh yeah, he must be a horrible human being! Common sense says he is a good Christian man who went a bit far in discipline. Any of you who judge him for that so soon are guilty of the same. You take it too far. It may be all well and good that the NFL sees fit to suspend him, maybe for a good long time , but damn people, can’t you wait and let THEM do it ?

  8. Adam, some years ago Belichick informed a reporter that every Patriot player with the exception of Tom Brady is subject to trade. No running back has ever equalled the value of a great quarterback.

    There are 53 players on the roster and without the ten that he steps onto the field with Peterson is nothing.

    Well, it’s just a couple thoughts.

  9. At this point it’s moot because the only thing the “good christian” Peterson is worthy of is huffing Brady’s steaming jock strap. Maybe you didn’t see the pictures, read about the belt collection and whopping room or the mouth full of leaves. Maybe today you’re ready to accept the truth.

  10. The steaming jock strap is a reference to Doug Stanhope’s homosexual fantasy bit involving a running back wearing the number 28. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard.

  11. I’m Mexican/Irish and was raised in a Latino heritage, my mom raised three bad boys and a girl as a single parent and I know it was hard for her. We routinely fought each other and we’re not “spared the rod” so to speak, a recourse my mom had to take normally. At about seven years old, my brother and I got into a fight and I kicked at him, missed, abs kicked a hole in my bedroom door to a rented house, (a cost that was gonna come out of my mom’s tiny pocket), when she found out she responded with a slap that knocked me silly and also left a hand print on my face for three weeks. I never heard an apology but could see the guilt in my mom’s eyes. I didn’t go back to school until the bruise was gone…. I know it was bad, she knew it was bad, she never apologized and given the history of me and my brothers actions I can’t say that giving us a whopping was wrong. Asked now if she could have gone to jail or had her kids taken from her that would have been a possibly in the early eighties, but now I look back and say it would have done a great deal of Harm to our family if she would have gone to jail. She was raised in a way that soaking and whopping was correct, she was probably corrected in the same way, as AD was probably raised. He stated remorse in his texts and probably feels really bad. I was the victim and now thirty years later do not wish she would have gone to jail. We are a progressive culture and learn from our mistakes, the biggest lesson taught was probably by himself not you, or the nfl, etc. He didn’t think he was wrong (probably) because that is what he was shown by his elders, who were probably taught the same thing. He went too far and is undoubtedly learning his lesson now, I’m not religious but will leave with one quote, “he who is without sin let him cast the first stone