The mother of Adrian Peterson's son told USA TODAY through her attorney that she does not believe the NFL should levy additional punishment on the Minnesota Vikings running back. Peterson had been accused of abusing their son.
On Tuesday, Peterson pleaded no-contest to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault. The plea agreement ensures that he will not go to jail.
Peterson was indicted by a grand jury in Texas in September on felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after authorities said he hit his 4-year-old son with a switch. He faced up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of the charges.
Under the NFL's personal conduct policy, the league could still choose to suspend Peterson. The mother of Peterson's son, who has remained unnamed, said in her statement that Peterson does not deserve additional punishment.
"My client asks the media and the public to respect her and their son's privacy. My client has no interest in Mr. Peterson's career being harmed and hopes that the NFL will not impose any additional punishment on him."
Peterson has not played since Week 1. He has been on the commissioner's exempt list as the legal process has played out, and theoretically he could resume playing as soon as he is removed from the list. It remains unclear how the NFL plans to handle Peterson's return.
The NFL reportedly would have considered suspending Peterson even if he was cleared of all charges.
Though Peterson has expressed remorse for his actions, the running back has maintained that he was not trying to hurt his son and that his actions were for disciplinary purposes. The mother of his son said she was confident Peterson would remain a committed father and that she agreed with the plea deal. From the attorney's statement:
"She and Mr. Peterson have shared a parental relationship for four years with a fun, beautiful little boy. My client knows that Mr. Peterson loves their son very much and has confidence that he will remain an involved parent with their son throughout his life."
The Vikings have a bye this week before playing at the Chicago Bears on Nov. 16. Minnesota is 4-5.
- Stanley Kay