Adrian Peterson whipped his son with a switch because he pushed another one of his children off a motorbike video game. When I first heard about it I was like, “Big deal! He whipped his son! Here we go again with another pubic crucifixion of an African American male.”
Then I did a little research.
According to reports, the 4-year-old boy was hit 10 to 15 times, resulting in cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs, and one to the scrotum. It seems that the child didn’t cry during the whipping, which Peterson claims added to him not knowing the extent of the harm he was causing. After the whipping, and viewing the child’s scars, Peterson reportedly felt remorse.
He texted the child’s mother saying that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh.”
He also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”
By all reports, when interviewed by police, Peterson was calm and matter of fact about the incident, saying that while he regretted some of the bruises, he felt he did nothing wrong and only used “whoopings” as a last resort when needed.
In another text to the mother, he said, ““Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
Now … what’s up with all the uproar?
From what I can tell, it doesn’t seem like Adrian Peterson is a child abuser. I can’t even say that he has a warped sense of reality that makes him believe wrong is right. It seems he’s a single father that spends most of his time on the gridiron, who was spending some summer time with his children when they got out of hand. It seems that he draws from his experiences as a child, compares that to the type of man he’s become, and executes the type of discipline that he believes played a role in his success. Is that right? It might not be.
Could he have used better judgment regarding a 4-year-old who was acting out of line? Probably. The fact that the child supposedly didn’t cry tells me that the whipping was not having the desired intent. It tells me that, like some frustrated parents, Peterson could have possibly added a few more licks, with a little extra somethin’ somethin’, to get the desired result … a child that physically showed the regret of wrong action.
Do I think Peterson was wrong in this case? Ehhh … the jury in my mind is still out. I’m not snapping off like Cris Carter did, though. My brother seems to be living with the trauma of a childhood that had it’s own unintended forms of abuse. As for me, I’ll wait to get a professional’s insight before I officially jump out the window with my opinion as my parachute. For now, though, I am willing to say to the world, cut the man some slack … please.
Adrian’s no doubt a prideful man. One that was raised by a strong father who used discipline to guide his son to athletic greatness. And while the number of children the single Peterson has tells me that he has an aversion to using condoms with women he sleeps with, by most accounts, he’s a stand up, old school, type of guy. He’s one whose work ethic and outlook on life reflect a time past … when morals, principles, and a strong handshake mattered more than money, adoration, and Instagram followers.
But still … I gotta go Arsenio on you and say, “Hmmmm.” Me thinks the world of social media, and the ‘make everything a headline’ society we live in today has gone even more overboard than Peterson. One thing is for sure though. This act, and the treatment of this act, when looked into deeply, says much more about society than it does about Adrian Peterson.
That’s not a closing statement … just an inconclusive opinion. Consider it my way of saying, “To be continued …”