Former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin said the Adrian Peterson child abuse case has changed his perception of corporal punishment, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
A Texas grand injury indicted Peterson in September on a felony charge of child abuse after he was accused of hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch. Peterson played in only one game before being suspended for the rest of the season after pleading no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault.
The NFLPA last month sued the NFL on Peterson's behalf over its discipline of the six-time Pro Bowl running back. Peterson, 29, will not be considered for reinstatement in the league until April 15. From the Pioneer Press:
“When I started looking at it more, you see the difference in the world now as opposed to yesteryear,’’ said Irvin, a Dallas star from 1988-99. “It used to be we were more family-oriented where people with families stayed together more. So when we talk about some of the spankings or whoopings that we got they were out love, so they were trying to govern you with love so you don’t go out and get in trouble and get governed with the law and make mistakes and all that.
“Now, as we move forward times change and you have so many blended families. You might have somebody with this woman and kids with that woman and this woman. So it almost becomes now are we giving giving corporal punishment out of anger because of all the situations and the stress and everything that’s going on in dealing with all the blended families? … We cannot risk one kid in determining if this is love or out of anger.’’
Irvin, 48, caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards and 65 touchdowns and earned five Pro Bowl appearances over 12 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1988-99). He currently serves as an analyst on the NFL Network.