The NFL, having recently come under fire for its handling of Ray Rice’s domestic assault case, could take Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson’s recent indictment for child abuse as an opportunity to examine its own culture and set higher standards for its players. Or it could let Adrian Peterson play on—which, according to a statement released by the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, is what it will probably do.
Peterson was deactivated for the Vikings’ Week 2 game against the New England Patriots after he was indicted by a grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child.
“Today’s decision was made after significant thought, discussion and consideration. As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue,” Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf said in a statement.
“On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter. At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved. To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child…”
The statement went on to say that the decision was a matter of “due process,” an excuse that has been used by other NFL teams when deciding to let their players play in the face of serious criminal allegations. Since beating children is largely legal in much of the United States, don’t expect Peterson to go to jail, or, evidently, miss much playing time.