Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has come under heavy fire after being indicted by a Texas grand jury on charges of injury to a child in connection to a beating he gave his four-year-old son, but his mother is standing by him.
Bonita Jackson spoke out to defend suspended son on Wednesday and argued that violent discipline is actually an act of parental love.
“I don’t care what anybody says, most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes,” she told the Houston Chronicle.
“But we were only trying to prepare them for the real world. When you whip those you love, it’s not about abuse, it’s about love. You want to make them understand that they did wrong.”
Peterson’s attorney released a statement shortly after the indictment, confirming Peterson had hit his young son with a switch. “Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment 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,” read the statement. “Adrian has never hidden from what happened.”
Jackson confirmed Wednesday that she and the Pro Bowl player’s father subjected Peterson to similar “discipline” while he was growing up, revealing both parents were “big disciplinarians.”
Since the indictment, the Minnesota Vikings suspended Peterson (two weeks in a row), Radisson hotels has suspended endorsement deals with the franchise, Nike has suspended their contract with him, and several high profile players and sports personalities have spoken out against the football player’s actions — including ESPN commentator and former Vikings’ receiver Cris
But Jackson continues to support her son and his actions. She says she has recently spoken with the mother of Peterson’s child and heard the young boy laughing in the background.
“He sounds happy,” she said. “I know his mother has much respect for Adrian. She knows he’s a good father, no matter how much people attack his character, only God can judge us.
“But Adrian is good and does a good job. We live with the choices we make,” she concluded.
Also on Wednesday, Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi condemned the “repugnant behavior” of the players involved in the scandal while cautiously applauding the NFL’s current efforts.
“She wrote that the league’s “mishandling of these issues, is casting a cloud over the integrity of the league and the reputations of the majority of players who’ve dedicated their lives to a career they love.”
Major NFL advertiser Anheuser-Busch has also expressed its concern. “We are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season.”