Four years after he pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge, Adrian Peterson admitted that he still hits his son with a belt as punishment. The NFL may be taking notice.
The Washington Redskins running back said in an interview this week that he has not stopped using the belt as punishment. Peterson had been placed on probation for his 2014 conviction, but that has since ended.
But this week, the NFL All-Pro gave an admission that could put him in both legal and professional jeopardy.
“I had to discipline my son and spank him the other day with a belt,” Peterson told Master Tesfatsion of Bleacher Report.
As Pro Football Talk reported, the admission is likely to get the attention of the NFL, which has suspended players for allegations of domestic abuse without convictions — even if the charges are dropped. As the report noted, the league had notified Peterson that he would be reinstated on the condition that he undergo counseling and a treatment program. The league mandated that Peterson commit “to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”
While it was not yet clear whether Adrian Peterson’s admission constituted any kind of legal violation, it could be in violation of the personal conduct policy that the league adopted after Peterson’s arrest — and a number of other high-profile accusations of domestic violence.
At the time, the league praised the new, much stricter policy. It was one that gave much more leeway to the NFL to dole out punishment.
“With considerable assistance from the many people and organizations we consulted, NFL ownership has endorsed an enhanced policy that is significantly more robust, thorough, and formal,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the time, via NFL.com.
“We now have a layered evaluation process to take into account a diversity of expert views. This will better enable us to make appropriate decisions and ensure accountability for everyone involved in the process.”
This is revolting. I was shocked with how quickly ppl were willing to forget the details of the previous incidents - bruises & lashes lasting for days. On a 4 YEAR OLD.— Sarah Spain (@SarahSpain) November 21, 2018
Worse, ppl who excused it b/c they, themselves, had experienced physical punishment.https://t.co/nltPVaZ2ZU
If Adrian Peterson were to face a suspension, it would likely be a major blow to the Washington Redskins. The team still sits atop the NFC East with a 6-4 record, but just lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season with a broken leg. The team will likely turn to Peterson to carry a heavier load of the offense. Peterson has 171 carries for 723 yards and six touchdowns this season, his most productive season in years.