NFL Star Adrian Peterson Conducts First Major Televised Interview Since 2014 Suspension With Emmy-Winning Journalist Graham Bensinger

Joshua Broom

Recently, NFL star Adrian Peterson offered noted journalist Graham Bensinger his first, long-form TV interview since a devastating 2014 suspension. Peterson's anticipated interview airs nationwide this weekend on the nationally-syndicated series, In Depth with Graham Bensinger. Peterson's most candid remarks were made regarding the following subjects.

· The "politics" and strings attached to Goodell's decision to suspend him for a season.

· How Ray Rice's case had a significant impact on Peterson's NFL suspension.

· How Adrian's discipline as a child shaped him, including the pain of a switch and extension cord.

The full interview airs this weekend on NBC, FOX, ABC, and CBS affiliates across the country (TV schedule by market available here). An embedded episode preview is also available here.

Peterson's insightful sit-down with Emmy-winner Graham Bensinger emanated from the Pro Bowl running back's palatial Houston mansion. In addition to the aforementioned topics, Peterson fielded questions regarding his quest to break Eric Dickerson and Emmitt Smith's long-held rushing records, advice to young people faced with hardship, and setting his sights on sprinting in the 2020 Summer Olympics. Peterson also showcases fumble prevention drills with Graham from his new gym on the day of its grand opening.

As the interview commenced, Peterson reflected on his exchanges with Roger Goodell and the commissioner's motivations that led to a season-long suspension from the NFL.

Bensinger: "What do you think about how he treated you through the process?"

Peterson: "I know people in high ranking positions, they have a role to play… So he played his role… I feel like political people at different positions – there's a lot of strings attached you know, to them. So there's just different things that they probably feel, and of course that they will say – let that be known. And there's certain things that they are forced to say as well… And I don't know if he was forced or that's how he felt."

Bensinger: "… How much do you think your punishment was influenced by what happened with Ray Rice?"

Peterson: "It definitely had a lot to do with it. A lot to do with it… But I understand that. I get it. I understand that it's bigger than Adrian Peterson. It's politics."

Bensinger: "You think the punishment was fair?"

Peterson: "... No, not really. I missed an entire season, you know? I was judged before I was actually judged, you know? But I'll accept it because it didn't break me. It made me a stronger person; a smarter, more wiser individual. I was actually able to see people - a lot of people - for who they really are."

"I often think back on the times where discipline had come into play and how it shaped me to be more of a stand-up guy. So when I look back on it - I'm for sure, like I know - that the discipline that I received helped me become the person that I am today."

Bensinger: "I think you had to pick out your own switches at times, right?"

Peterson: "Yeah you pick out your own switch. Just got out and grab a little switch off the tree, pull the leaves off and you would get spanked with it if you act up too much. When I was growing up – and I know like my mom and stuff too – they got whooped with extension cords. That doesn't feel good at all. But [with] a switch - there's a sting to it, and it makes you get some act right."

Bensinger: "To what extent - if at all - looking back now, do you feel it crossed the line?"

Peterson: "I would think that any parent wouldn't intentionally harm their child you know, and in my case that was definitely you know, what it was. It was purely trying to discipline him and unfortunately - because of errors on my behalf - it ended up differently."

Bensinger: "Having gone through everything you went through over the past couple years since the incident, what do you think you most learned?"

Peterson: "Just not to be judgmental towards people because after going through that, and just seeing other people you know going through different situations as well, just like man – you should really find out the details and you know – before you sit there and start persecuting people and judging people… Just leave it up to the one person to judge."

[Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images]

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