An Open Letter To Adrian Peterson
With recent quotes being released by Adrian Peterson and his agent failing to mention the Minnesota Vikings, I decided to write a letter to the running back.
I recently learned of the judge ruling in your favor regarding your suspension from the NFL. I also just read the statements you and your agent have given about your return to the league, both of which refused to mention the Minnesota Vikings, the team who owns your rights through 2017, or their fans. This is unfortunate because it shows how you are misreading your current situation.
Let me start by saying that I am an Adrian Peterson and Minnesota Vikings fan. I have cheered you on and bought Vikings tickets since you were drafted. I have a 7 year-old son and the first jersey he ever owned was yours. I have cheered for all your successes, and even forgiven your multiple fumbles which were a key to the Vikings loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game. A fan sticks by his team.
Upon hearing of the allegations of you whipping your son with a switch, my initial thoughts were to hear your side before choosing sides. I watched in horror as pictures of your young son emerged with obvious injuries caused by you and you alone. Your reasons were that you were a product of your environment; you were raised under the same form of discipline. I decided that if you could accept that this was not acceptable in this day and age and work to become a better parent, I could forgive you.
You must be smart enough to realize that when your allegations surfaced, it was right after the Ray Rice controversy had reached a head. The Minnesota Vikings knew they had to do something, so you were suspended with pay. Did they bad mouth you? Did they refuse to pay you your millions? No, they allowed the league and legal processes to play out. They did not turn their back on you, they did their best to appease the people appalled by your actions and yet be fair to a man who has given so much to the organization. They did the best they could under circumstances that you alone created.
In recent weeks, the Vikings have gone out of their way to support you. You and your childish agent have gone out of your way to state that you don’t want to return. This is what prompted me to write this letter.
You say that beating a helpless child was because you were the product of your environment. Well, my mother was a smoker while I grew up. I accepted that at a young age until I became educated and realized the damage she was doing to herself and, potentially, me and my sisters. Did I become a smoker and then expose my kids to it since that was how I was raised? No, I became educated and stopped the cycle. I have never been a smoker, neither have my sisters and our kids know the damage it causes. My mom has since quit smoking. Education and changes in society weren’t lost on us.
Do I think you’re uneducated or stupid? No, but based on recent comments by you and your agent, I do think you’re getting bad advice or perhaps you’re just flat out ignorant.
You are about to hit 30 years of age playing a position the NFL devalues with every passing year. The New England Patriots just won the Super Bowl without a workhorse running back. You are due a much larger payday with the Vikings then you’ll ever receive under a new contract elsewhere. Even if you are superhuman, you still only have two to three years left as a lead back, and that’s being gracious and assuming you stay healthy.
There is not a single team you could go to that would support you 100%. Every city in America will have those still appalled by your actions with your child and the fact that you still don’t seem to understand why they feel that way.
I suggest you be a man and meet face to face with the Minnesota Vikings and figure out a way to return. You have no power in this situation. You are under contract through 2017 and this team will control your future, whether you like it or not. This is your chance to prove you are the man we all thought you were. If you choose to play the hurt bully card, you may not like how your legacy plays out.
The Vikings could keep you under contract, pay you, and let you share time or ride the bench behind a rookie running back they draft this year. Once your contract is up, what will the financial prospects be for a running back going on 32? They have the money to do this. I think the Vikings would rather not waste money on an aging backup, so I would suggest they trade you to Cleveland for whatever they offer and you can buddy up with Johnny Football for a year, and then draft a running back.
However, if you can be a man and see the forest from the trees, you can still return to the Minnesota Vikings with the backing of the front office along with a majority of fans and teammates. Furthermore, you’ll make more money with the Vikings than you will anywhere else. All you have to do is admit that what you did to your child was ill-advised, that you understand why some people have a hard time forgiving your actions, and vow to be a better man and teammate.
Your future is in your hands and it can still be an amazing comeback story, unless you choose to play the role you and your agent seem to be currently playing. Then, your future is strictly in the hands of the Minnesota Vikings and you may not like that ending.