Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson was indicted by a Texas grand jury on Friday on charges of injury to a child. It’s another crisis for the National Football League, which is still coping with the fallout from the Ray Rice domestic violence case this week.
Peterson’s team, the Minnesota Vikings, announced it will not permit its star player to suit up for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
Police released photos showing what were alleged to be injuries to the boy’s body. According to a report from CBS affiliate in Houston, police told them Peterson beat his four-year-old son with a tree branch this summer as a form of punishment. Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement that the football player admits to disciplining his son, and is now cooperating fully with authorities.
All eyes will now turn to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who was heavily criticized for his handling of Rice’s domestic violence case. The Baltimore Ravens player was originally suspended by the league for two games after a first video emerged of him dragging his then-fiancee Janay Palmer out of an Atlantic City elevator in February. Critics felt Goodell and the NFL didn’t take domestic violence seriously enough, pointing out Rice’s suspension was less than that of other players who had committed marijuana-related offenses.
On Monday, the Rice case again came into focus when a new videotape from inside the elevator leaked. This one showed the full extent of Rice’s brutal assault against Palmer.
As TheWrap previously reported, the Ravens cut Rice in light of the new evidence and the league announced it had suspended him indefinitely. However, according to reports by the Associated Press and ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” the NFL may have actually received the full Rice elevator assault videotape months prior.
The NFL has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment regarding Peterson.
Here’s the full statement from Peterson’s attorney:
“Adrian Peterson has been informed that he was indicted by a grand jury in Montgomery County, Texas for Injury to a Child. 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 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. 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.”