Last week I started quite a ruckus with my post about the Ray Rice affair. With readership of the family blog tripled thanks to me posting a link to it on Facebook, brouhahas broke out in my house, at the park (with me not there), on my guys weekend in San Diego and, of course, on the social network.
With all that fun I’m compelled to share my thoughts on the Adrian Peterson affair.
1. A parent has a right to use a switch to discipline his child. I wouldn’t think of doing it in a million years, but it’s not my place to impose my values on other parents. According to Charles Barkley, switching is a common means of child discipline in the African-American community. I have no reason not to believe him.
2. That said, when a parent grabs a tree branch he runs a considerable risk of negligently or intentionally injuring his child — more so than, say, if he used an open hand. As such, said parent should be pretty darn careful when he’s wielding that stick.
3. In this case, Daddy Peterson did not take care to not hurt his kid, as the photos so graphically show. Those photos, which I won’t post on this blog, were taken five days after what the Vikings star called “a whooping.” I can only imagine how the kid looked when Daddy put the stick down.
As for whether Peterson should go to jail — that depends on whether he violated the laws he’s alleged to have violated. I don’t know Texas law on the subject so I have no opinion on the matter. One person who does, blogger Gregory S. McNeal, concluded that he likely did. I don’t know if Mr. McNeal’s legal analysis is correct — it’s a lot more conclusion than analysis — but I’ll go with it here.
What I do know is this. If a Texas jury does not convict Peterson of something, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will be under intense pressure to sanction Peterson, anyway. The photos don’t lie. If he doesn’t do something, Goodell will be gone.
And deservedly so.