HOUSTON (AP) Adrian Peterson's mother is defending the Minnesota Vikings running back in the wake of child abuse allegations against him, saying that he is ''trying hard to be a good parent.''
Bonita Jackson said she and Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, were ''big disciplinarians'' who used hands, switches and belts to occasionally spank all six of her children. An indictment by the Montgomery County grand jury accuses Adrian Peterson of felony child abuse for swatting his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch and his team has taken him off the active roster while the case plays out.
''I don't care what anybody says. Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes,'' Jackson, 50, told the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1Dl4YuK) in an interview from her home in suburban Houston. ''But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world.''
Seated with her current husband, who is a Baptist minister, Jackson said: ''When you whip those you love, it's not about abuse, but love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong.''
Adrian Peterson is getting help to learn other ways of disciplining since the incident that led to the criminal charge, such as having the child stand in the corner for five minutes, Jackson said.
Jackson said she loves her grandchildren more than her own children and would be ''so angry with anybody who willfully hurt her grandbabies.'' She said she believes, however, that her son was only trying to discipline his son she same way he was disciplined when he was growing up.
She said things are complicated by orders barring Peterson from any contact with the boy, whose mother is a nursing student in Minnesota.
''But when we talk to her,'' Jackson said of the child's mother,'' we can hear him laughing and playing in the background. He sounds happy. I know his mother has much respect for Adrian. She knows he's a good father, no matter how much people attack his character. Only God can judge us.''
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com