Lawyer: Don't 'lump' Adrian Peterson in with Ray Rice, other NFL cases

The lawyer for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said that his client would be playing for the team if it wasn’t for the casino elevator video showing former Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancee.
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The lawyer for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Petersonsaid on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike that his client would be playing for the team now if it wasn’t for the casino elevator video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice striking his then-fiancée.

On Sept. 8, posted a video on its website showing Rice and his now-wife Janay inside an Atlantic City casino elevator. The video showed Rice striking his wife, knocking her unconscious and dragging her out of the elevator. The Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL indefinitely suspended him within hours of the video surfacing.

Peterson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said he hopes that Peterson's case will be looked at separate from the league’s troubles in their handling of the recent domestic violence scandal.

“I hope and trust he doesn’t fall prey to all these publicized events involving other people, which had nothing to do with his situation,” Peterson’s lawyer Rusty Hardin said on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike. “This is a parent disciplining a child and an unintended harm occurred. But it has nothing to do with child abuse, domestic abuse, family abuse and so on, so I hope he doesn’t continue to get lumped in with problems others have.”

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This summer, Peterson originally testified in front of a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury after being accused of hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch. The grand jury did not initially indict Peterson. But a second grand jury did indict Peterson on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. Peterson, the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player, was then placed on the NFL's exempt/commissioner's permission list until that case was resolved.

On Tuesday, Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault and was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service. He has missed the team’s last eight game and awaits his fate about whether he will play again this season.

“Part of what’s happened here is lumping these athletes in together,” Hardin said. “They’re all individuals, they’re all different circumstances. What I’m hoping is the NFL and the public will assess them individually and not lump them together. And if they do that I think Adrian has earned the right to get his chance.”

- Scooby Axson