Adrian Peterson has stepped away from football as he has been trying to resolve his legal issues regarding his child abuse case.
The Minnesota Viking pleaded “no contest” to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault, after whipping his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. Peterson received two years of probation with no traveling restrictions, a $4,000 fine, and 80 hours of community service.
The plea deal was made to also get Peterson back on the field sooner rather than later, which is what his teammates and fans seem to want as well.
“If it gets him back on the field sooner, than I'm all for it,” said Derrick Garner, a fan of Peterson's at Montgomery County Courthouse. “I can understand for him not wanting to keep fighting and all this. Why not plea out, get it over with, and get back on the field where he belongs.”
Peterson admitted guilt for how he handled the situation with his son.
“I truly regret this incident,” said Peterson. “I stand here and take full responsibility for my actions. I love my son more than any one of you could even imagine.”
It's still unclear at this time how the plea agreement will affect the timing of Peterson's hopeful return to the NFL, but the NFL Players Association expects the league will punish Peterson
“The welts did look bad, but he was raised that way. There's a lot of people raised that way from back in the day,” said Garner.
Along with his plea agreement, Peterson will participate in parenting classes and be subjected to parenting assessments through his adult probation.
Fans and both parties in the case were accepting of the requirements handed down by the plea deal.
“We all have to be accountable for our actions. Everybody's got to go answer for the things that they do,” said Marc A. Garza, a Peterson fan at the Montgomery County Courthouse. “I believe when he spoke, he did from the heart and that he loved his kid.”
“I think he really feels like he was disciplining his kid. He did go a little overboard and he left the welts. We saw them so we know he went overboard, but he still feels like he was whopping his kid. That was it,” said Garner.
For Peterson to get back on the field, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would have to reinstate the running back before the Vikings could determine whether or not to release the Pro Bowler.
Throughout the case, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer described Peterson as a "top-notch, first class" guy.
“I'm looking forward to, and I'm anxious to continue my relationship with my child,” said Peterson. “I'm just glad this is over. I can put this behind me, and me and my family can begin to move forward.”
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