A letter from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to newly reinstated Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson released on Thursday detailed Goodell's continuing concern with the Peterson's parenting practices and referred to his adherence toward his ongoing counseling as crucial.
In the letter, Goodell praises Peterson's commitment to staying in counseling for as long as his counselor deems necessary, even if the counselor's recommendations exceed the amount of therapy mandated by either Minnesota or Texas state law.
But Goodell's reason for emphasizing the running back's commitment appears to be out of concern that Peterson is not fully aware that he needs to make changes in the way he raises his children.
From the letter:
From my perspective, the most important aspect of our discussion on April 7 was your commitment, which you stated on several occasions, to remain fully engaged in counseling and treatment for long as your counselor deems necessary - even if it is longer than required by Minnesota or Texas authorities.
This commitment to continued engagement is critical because I remain concerned that you have not yet fully embraced the need for significant changes to your parenting practices.
[NFL advisor, Dr. April] Kuchuk has advised that it is not always clear to parents that they need to learn new parenting strategies, particularly in the early stages of a counseling relationship.
The letter states that Peterson and his attorneys advised Goodell that Peterson has heretofore fulfilled the conditions of his plea agreement reached last November. The NFL considers Peterson presently in compliance with all existing legal regulations, which include meetings with a community supervision officer, "testing and screening requirements," and the payment of fines.
Peterson has also completed more than half of his 80 required hours of community service, according to the letter.
Goodell referred any questions regarding the letter Peterson might have to the NFL's senior vice president of law & labor policy, Adolpho Birch.
The Vikings reinstated Peterson on Thursday, more than seven months after he last played in an NFL game. Peterson was indicted in September on charges of child abuse.
- Will Green