Vikings: Peterson deactivated and will not play
By Ed Payne, CNN
Running back Adrian Peterson will not play for the Minnesota Vikings until his legal issues are resolved, the team said early Wednesday.
Yet while the Vikings’ statement said the team made the decision to “revisit the situation regarding” Peterson and decided to place him on a list that would ban him from team activities, the NFL Players Association released a statement later Wednesday saying Peterson made the call.
“Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues. The NFLPA and NFL worked with Adrian and the Minnesota Vikings to resolve this unique situation. We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family.”
The reason for the disparity in the language was not immediately clear.
The Vikings’ statement marked a change in course for the team, which had earlier said that Peterson, who is facing a child abuse charge, would practice this week and could play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints
In a statement early Wednesday, the team said Peterson had been placed on the NFL’s Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require him to “remain away from all team activities.”
“While we were trying to make a balanced decision (Monday), after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian,” said the statement from owners Zygi and Mark Wilf. “We want to be clear: We have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right.”
Peterson is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL — if not the best. His absence was probably felt during the Vikings’ 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots last Sunday.
In 2011, he agreed to a lucrative contract, which NFL.com reported would be worth $100 million over a seven-year period.
Turn for the worse
But his fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since his indictment last week on a felony charge of causing bodily injury to his son.
On Tuesday, he lost one of his most significant endorsement deals when Castrol, a major producer of motor oil, pulled out.
Castrol used Peterson in commercials for its Edge performance oil product and on social media. Many recent social media posts of his likeness have been pulled down, and the commercials are no longer available on YouTube. (His other major sponsor, Nike, said late last week it would stand by its athlete for the time being.)
One of the team’s sponsors, the Radisson hotel chain, announced Monday night that it was suspending its “limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.”
Also, the website for Peterson’s All Day Foundation was taken offline after the charities represented on the site received “harassing” calls from gossip sites, said his philanthropic adviser, Bruce Richmond.
“We took the website offline because the charities that Adrian supports were getting calls from the media and were getting harassed by the media,” Richmond told CNN. “I spoke to one communication director saying she had received about a dozen calls today from the same gossip site.”
After his indictment, Peterson turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday and was released on a $15,000 bond.
The next step is a preliminary court hearing on October 8.
According to Texas law, people can be convicted of injury to a child if they cause bodily or mental injury “intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence” or cause such harm by omission. The crime is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a $1,000 fine.
Authorities haven’t divulged the details of what led to the charge. But Peterson’s lawyer said the “charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son,” explaining that his client did so while doling out discipline much like “he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas.”
Attorney Rusty Hardin said that “Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”
Peterson defended himself Monday, saying he is “not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser.”
The developments came as CNN affiliate KHOU reported this week that Peterson allegedly abused another one of his children — a 4-year-old son.
Sources told KHOU that the mother of the child filed a complaint with Child Protective Services in Texas because she alleged that Peterson beat the child while visiting his father at his Houston-area home.
According to the report, text messages between Peterson and the boy’s mother show that Peterson admitted disciplining the child, but he says the child hit his head on a car seat in the process.
No charges were ever filed, according to KHOU.
CNN reached out Child Protective Services but has not received a response.
Through Hardin, his attorney, Peterson vehemently denied the report.
“The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. This is not a new allegation. It’s one that is unsubstantiated and was shopped around to authorities in two states over a year ago, and nothing came of it,” Hardin said. “An adult witness adamantly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son.”
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.