On Adrian Peterson And ‘Whooping’ Kids

[Ed. Note: As I was writing this post, the Minnesota Vikings announced Adrian Peterson will be playing this Sunday because the NFL hates women and children as much as you do. They do interrupt a lot of games. – SW]

Because the Ray Rice elevator video wasn’t enough to remind everyone that the NFL has a serious domestic violence problem that it’s been fucking up for way too long, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was arrested Friday evening for reckless or negligent injury to a child after beating his four year old son with a switch. Keep in mind this is the same Adrian Peterson who lost a two-year-old son just last year when the child’s mother’s boyfriend viciously beat him to death. So lessons learned all around there because here’s the extent of this child’s injuries that were still visible a full week later. CBS Houston reports:

The “whooping” – as Peterson put it when interviewed by police – occurred in Spring, Texas, in May. Peterson’s son had pushed another one of Peterson’s children off of a motorbike video game. As punishment, Peterson grabbed a tree branch – which he consistently referred to as a “switch” – removed the leaves and struck the child repeatedly.
The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands. Peterson then texted the boy’s mother, saying that one wound in particular would make her “mad at me about his leg. I got kinda good wit the tail end of the switch.”
Peterson also allegedly said via text message to the child’s mother that he “felt bad after the fact when I notice the switch was wrapping around hitting I (sic) thigh” and also acknowledged the injury to the child’s scrotum in a text message, saying, “Got him in nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed! I start putting them in timeout. N save the whooping for needed memories!”
In further text messages, Peterson allegedly said, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has the biggie heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”

Again, this was a four year old who apparently needed to not only be beat by a professional football player, but by one wielding a wooden branch and sometimes belts, according to the child. Except here’s the part where we going to be told this was simply how Adrian was raised and it’s kind of ridiculous he’s even been arrested if you really think about it. Which I have basically all weekend, and the only thing ridiculous is beating a child with a fucking stick, but we’ll get to that in a second. Here’s the statement from his lawyer:

“The charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son.”
“This indictment follows Adrian’s full cooperation with authorities who have been looking into this matter. Adrian is a loving father who used his judgement as a parent to discipline his son.”
“He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas. Adrian has never hidden from what happened.”
“He has cooperated fully with authorities and voluntarily testified before the grand jury for several hours.”
“Adrian will address the charges with the same respect and responsiveness he has brought to this inquiry from its beginning. It is important to remember that Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury.”

Which brings us to Charles Barkley who wants us all to understand this is how things are done in the South because if there’s one place whose actions we want to constantly repeat again and again without reflecting upon it’s the American South. I’m surprised more black people don’t say this more often. Via CBS Sports:

Turning to the Peterson situation, Rome asked Barkley if it’s OK to hit a child.
“I’m from the South. I understand Boomer’s (Esiason) rage and anger … but he’s a white guy and I’m a black guy. I don’t know where he’s from (editor’s note: Esiason grew up in Long Island), I’m from the South. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”
Rome: “It doesn’t matter where you’re from: Right is right and wrong is wrong.”
Barkley: “I don’t believe that because, listen, we spank kids in the South. I think the question about whether Adrian Peterson went overboard — Listen, Jim, we all grow up in different environments. Every black parent in my neighborhood in the South would be in trouble or in jail under those circumstances.”

I’m going to stop right there. Look, I’ll be the first to say black people are still getting a raw deal in America. You’re being unjustly targeted by cops (and insane vigilantes) who are let completely off the hook for straight up murdering them, racism is still a major issue that became even more exacerbated once we elected a black president, politicians on state and local levels are trying to stop you from voting, and the list goes on and on. That said, you didn’t corner the market on “whooping” kids, so maybe stop immediately jumping into this discussion extolling the virtues of “black parenting” because there are plenty of shitty parents from all races and colors gratuitously beating children with random objects. Plus, this isn’t exactly something you want to take ownership of because it’s all kinds of fucked up and a cycle of abuse that needs to broken. Here’s why:


As someone who was routinely spanked as a kid, and given the occasional backhand, and seen others given the same punishment, let me tell you exactly what lesson was learned: NOTHING. Not a thing. Think about how many times you were spanked (or given the belt, paddle, whatever weapon your parents thought was appropriate to use on a child) and then still repeated the same actions because you’re a fucking kid. I’m not saying you let kids run free and do whatever they want without some form of consequence, and if you’re rolling your eyes at just sending them to their room, who’s the idiot that stocked it full of toys and video game consoles? Pull that shit out and make it boring until they behave! Jesus Christ. What it’s going to take? Study after study has shown that just giving up and hitting them causes serious mental issues. Not to mention, you’re showing them that the quick and fast solution to a problem is to attack it with violence. That should go really well in adulthood.

2. “Spare the rod, spoil the child” is Biblical horseshit.

A lot of generally reasonable and logical people surprisingly subscribe to this old adage even though it’s from Proverbs 13:24 which is from a book that also instructs you to stone gays, women and your kids if they talk back to you. But those parts don’t count, and also lack the convenience of just hitting a kid when he causes a problem you have to deal with. I getcha. (Adding… Here’s Adrian Peterson tweeting a Bible study at his haters yesterday. That’s who you’re in bed with.)

3. “I turned out fine!”

Probably the most prevalent reaction is, “My parents beat me, and I turned out fine!” when really that immediate reaction says everything you need to know because God forbid you look back on your childhood and question your parents’ choices. (Don’t worry they can’t see you reading this. — OR CAN THEY?!) Which is what any good parent should encourage a child to do because your parents were fucking up, just like all of us are going to fuck up, but hopefully each time the fucking up gets less and less. Which is why it took balls for Cris Carter to say his mother was wrong and speak out against child abuse on NFL Countdown yesterday:

4. Not spanking kids is how you raise pussies!

You know what? If your major concern in life is whether or not you look like a “pussy” – For example: Should your old man ever found out you use constructive lessons to discipline your kids instead of a belt? Goddamn. – there’s probably no hope for you. So let me introduce you to your new best friend: His name’s Rush, and he’s tired of all this anti-domestic violence talk because it’s “chickifying” the NFL. You two have fun.

Alright, I’ve soapboxed enough, but before the comments fill up with pointing out this is a titty site and other forms of deflection, just think for a minute why you’d argue for physically assaulting a small developing person who’s at least half your size if not less. That’s what you’re afraid to let go of out of fear you’ll disappoint the people who did that to you. So do yourself a favor and stare long and hard into that abyss because that’s what people with real strength are doing. Or people who aren’t “pussies” if I have to bring it down to that level. Which I will because, again, titty site. I can get my hands dirty here. Pussy dirty.

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