Adrian Peterson did not spank his son, he beat him

My long-time readers know that I never moralize or tell people how to run their lives. I never use the M word in either written or verbal discourse. I am not a fan of corporal punishment, especially when it’s done in anger, but I don’t think people who spank their children should be imprisoned or ostracized. Adrian Peterson did not spank his 4 year old, he beat him. The term child abuse is too generic and polite for this situation, this NFL superstar is a child beater. The word switch is also too polite: he beat his 4 year old son with a stick.

Adrian Peterson is a hall of fame caliber running back and a world class louse. He should be ostracized, but he’s too big of a star for the NFL to act swiftly and decisively.  So much for the hanging judge Commissioner. I’ll write more about Goodell, Ray Rice, and domestic battery in an upcoming malaka of the week post.

Keith Olbermann did a classic rant on this topic yesterday. If you haven’t seen it, please do so now. I’ll resume my own rant after the videos and the break:

I used to have a bad temper but the only thing I ever hit were inanimate objects. I nearly busted my hand some 25 years old and never did it again. I have developed a very long fuse and am slow to anger but few things have gotten to me like the Adrian Peterson case. Perhaps the most blood curdling detail is that his 4 year old son had defensive wounds on his hands. You know, he was trying to cover his face as his father beat him with a stick.

There are many blood curdling details to the Peterson story. The running back had what his son described to police as a “whooping room,” which was full of belts and other objects to beat his children with. The little boy described how his father “hit him in the nuts.” Does that sound like spanking to you? I’ve known people who spank their children, none of them had a “whooping room” full of weapons. A belt, like a stick, is a weapon, especially when wielded by a 6’2″ 217 pound professional football player.

The only stat that matters to some people is his 10,190 career yards rushing. Another disturbing, and relevant, stat is 7. That’s how many children he has. It’s unlikely that he beats only one of them. There’s already a report of an assault on another one of his kids. That’s right, it’s an assault, which is why seeing Carlos Gonzalez of the AP’s  picture of this idiot at a Vikings game made me hit the roof:


Some things are not funny, you grinning moron. Although wearing what appear to be Mardi Gras beads in September in Minnesota *is* funny. A jock beating the shit out of a 4 year old boy is not funny as anyone with an ounce of decency should know. She appears to not even have a spoonful of decency or a lick of sense.

There have been some folks  who deflect criticism of Peterson by saying that people in the South and African-Americans spank their children. Maybe so but how many of them draw blood or inflict cuts on their faces? It pained me when one of my all-time favorite basketball players and one of the best hoops broadcasters around, Chuck Barkley, spoke up in defense of spanking. Again, this was NOT SPANKING, it was A BEATING. There are few things worse than a jock speaking up on an issue beyond their expertise. I have major hoops love for him but Barkley should STFU on this issue.

In many ways, this and the domestic battery case involve a classic argument that is often used to justify arcane “traditions.” This is how I put it on my Facebook page:

The worst justification for continuing to do anything is “we’ve always done it this way.” I’ve heard that a lot of late in various contexts. It’s always specious

It’s egregiously specious when it comes to assault and battery against those who are physically weaker than the batterer. Almost everyone is weaker than a professional athlete, especially a 4 year old child. A 4 year old child.

When I first heard of the charges against Adrian Peterson, I knew there was something to it. They were filed in suburban Houston. Texas is a legendarily conservative place, and they weren’t going to charge someone-let alone a practitioner of the state religion, football-unless there was serious bodily harm. There was and it was inflicted on a 4 year old boy.  A 4 year old boy.

The people who are rushing to pooh-pooh the charges against Adrian Peterson need to look at the details. The devil is always in the details. In this case, the devil is wearing shoulder pads and a purple helmet with Vikings’ horns on it.

Adrian Peterson will be playing in the Superdome on Sunday against the Saints. I’m going to give myself the last word by posting what I tweeted last night:

5 thoughts on “Adrian Peterson did not spank his son, he beat him

  1. The running back had what his son described to police as a “whooping room,” which was full of belts and other objects to beat his children with.

    This is the part I don’t know if I believe. I mean, I know it’s always worse than we think, but this is the part that sounds to me like something a kid would come up with.

    And the one unequivocal horror is that chick with the switch. No matter your stance on corporal punishment, you don’t strut it. You certainly don’t strut someone else’s beating, especially a 4-year-old’s.


    1. See, the problem with that is that a LOT of children who suffer abuse of all kinds are told by PSA after-school-special stuff to “tell an adult they trust,” but when they do, the adults accuse them of making things up.

      It’s not exactly likely that Peterson has a soundproof torture chamber in his house. But it’s plausible that he has, perhaps, a large closet where his belts are, where he has also decided to keep switches and other smacking implements, that is just a closet but, when he’s speaking to a child being punished, he refers to as “the whooping room.”

      Four year olds are imaginative and make things up, that’s true. But when they need *help* they should be able to get it. I got spanked as a kid too, but the idea of broken skin or defensive wounds(! For pity’s sake!) is horrifying. That’s not what spanking is supposed to be for, even if you do subscribe to it.

  2. You may be right about that A. More likely to be a room with an extra huge closet or even a closet itself. People with AP’s dough have stuff like that. It makes for good drama though so I used it. Not a fib, a child’s perception.

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