NFL star Adrian Peterson says he still uses a belt to discipline his son, despite previous suspension for child abuse
Despite having been previously suspended for a year on child abuse charges, Adrian Peterson confessed he still spanks his son with a belt
Adrian Peterson, the Washington Redskins' running back who had previously served a one-year suspension in the NFL after he was charged with child abuse, admitted he still uses a belt to hit his son. "I had to discipline my son and spank him the other day with a belt," he reportedly said.
In an interview with Bleacher Report, it was revealed that the 33-year-old also received spankings with a belt while growing up, though he insisted that he used other disciplinary methods on his kids as well — he said he would take their electronics away, place them in timeouts, and have them do wall squats.
He also doubled down on the efficacy of spankings and beatings with the belt. The running back said the punishments were necessary after repeat offenses and that they would help his children make better decisions in the future, claiming corporal punishments helped make him the man he is today.
However, recent findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed that corporal punishments in all forms was harmful and had no benefits for the child short-term or long-term. It recommended pediatricians advise parents against the use of spanking.
In 2014, Peterson was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after a photo leaked by TMZ showed his then-four-year-old son with "slash-like wounds" on his legs. The prosecutor alleged that he had used a tree branch to beat his son repeatedly on the back, buttocks, genitals, ankles, and legs, describing the implement as a "switch", a form of corporal punishment that the running back had himself experienced in his childhood.
The 33-year-old would eventually plead no contest to the charges and avoid a jail sentence after reaching a plea agreement that saw him put on probation and also fined $4,000. He was also ordered to undergo 80 hours of community service, and his career would take a significant hit as well.
His team at the time, Minnesota Vikings, deactivated him for one game, though NFL arbitrator Shyam Das took a stricter stance to the offense and ended his season after ruling that the "league can keep Adrian Peterson on the commissioner's exempt list".
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In a letter addressed to Peterson and quoted by ESPN, he was told in no uncertain terms that his reinstatement would be "based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision".
It also directed him to commit himself "to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy".
It is unclear if the league will take any action on Peterson in light of his recent statements, with his agent Ron Slavin announcing in a statement that "there is nothing more important to Adrian Peterson than being a good father to his children" and that the running back had "learned several valuable lessons" from his previous suspension. He is currently in Dallas preparing to face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.