Peterson penalty falls short

The extremely talented NFL running back for the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson, has been charged with reckless assault during his recent child abuse case. These charges were based on evidence proving he excessively beat his 4-year-old son with a switch, a flimsy tree branch. Peterson removed the leaves from the tree and shoved them in his son’s mouth. Afterward, he made his son pull his pants down and began whipping him with the switch.

His son had stomach-churning lacerations on his back, buttocks and scrotum and had scratches and bruises on his thighs and outer legs. The son told the police about the frequent physical punishments and claimed his dad used belts and switches the most. When a grand jury found reason to indict Peterson, the NFL suspended him for the remainder of the season. Peterson appealed his suspension and a decision is about to be handed down. Personally, I believe he deserves to have football taken away from him and he should receive any sentence the courts decide to implement.

He is quite fortunate to have the ability, talent and opportunity to have made it to the NFL and become one of the biggest football stars today. According to 2012 NFL statistics, out of the 100,000 high school students who play football each year, only 215 of them will make it into the league — a 0.2 percent chance of professional success in football. Those talented enough to be drafted into the NFL should never abuse their position and good fortune. Peterson has abused his and should be held up to the same standards as any regular citizen.

During the continuation of the case, Peterson is being paid, which is reasonable for the time being. However, at some point he should be permanently suspended from the NFL, especially if his appeal is granted. He left physical marks on his son and treated him with utter brutality — he deserves to receive the same treatment from the law.

Some think this punishment is too harsh. For example, USA Today suggests, “The answer obviously isn’t to beat Peterson with a switch. It is to give him a timeout — specifically a suspension — along with instruction in how to behave.”

I have to disagree because this man has seven children, one of whom passed away from abuse. Peterson, of all people should understand the risk of physically beating a child to the point where they have deep lacerations, bruises and scratches. Peterson’s 2-year-old son died due to physical abuse and negligence conducted by the mother’s boyfriend. Losing a child must be the worst pain any human could feel so Peterson logically should be against such harsh punishments. Spanking and what Peterson did are in completely separate categories, in my opinion, and after seeing photos and hearing statements from the child, I feel he deserves to be permanently removed from the NFL.

In addition, Peterson should face legal consequences as well. I question whether Peterson should still have unsupervised custody of his son. Famous people, especially athletes, receive special treatment when it comes to law enforcement and I feel the child’s safety could be in jeopardy.

Although Peterson has apologized for his actions and claims he will never use switches again, how credible can these words be? Even after the incident occurred, texts were found between the football player and the child’s mother, and in them Peterson was boasting and bragging about how badly he beat the young child. This shows he is not sorry for what he did, he is sorry he was caught.

The NFL wants to keep its star player around, so the child’s best interest is being lost in a political battlefield. Peterson received community service hours and that is simply not enough. Any regular parent would have had child services to answer to and most likely lose custody of their child for this level of abuse. The photos of this little boy’s body are revolting and heart breaking and it should receive more than a slap on the wrist.

Peterson’s punishments so far are not equal to the crime and justice should be served for this little boy’s suffering. The fact that he was even able to have his appeal heard is absurd and I hope the forthcoming decision this month is not in his favor. Abuse should not be tolerated. Peterson’s methods of discipline went too far and he should be brought to justice.