Adrian Peterson could reach a plea deal in his child abuse case that could allow him to return to the NFL and Minnesota Vikings by the weekend.
A hearing is scheduled for tomorrow that could end the legal controversy around his indictment in Texas for reckless or negligent injury to his four-year-old son. If a plea deal is reached, which is expected by those closely following the case, Peterson, one of the premier running backs in the league, would be able to resume his career–barring punishment by the NFL. However, because this is a case the NFL has not experienced, the extent of any further punishment is unknown until commissioner Roger Goodell makes an announcement.
The plea deal will lesson his charges to a misdemeanor, which could lighten any penalty the league would levy. The judge will also consider the bond revocation that prosecutors called for after Peterson admitted to smoking marijuana before his initial court date in September.
Peterson has missed eight games while under his current deal that allows for him to be paid while the chargers are under investigation. The Vikings have managed without his explosive skill, but would welcome back his talents.
Peterson was ridiculed in many circles for what was deemed excessive and abusive in how he disciplined his child. It is likely that protesters will picket at games when/if Peterson returns, with many viewing the severity of the punishment he meted out (based on photographs) quite alarming.
Meanwhile, according to TMZ, in a recent police report Peterson texted the mother of his child saying, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know their daddy has the biggest heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
Attitudes around discipling a child have changed significantly over the years. Baby boomers routinely were disciplined with belts or “switches.” It’s different today, especially, in Peterson’s case, considering the extent of the child’s injuries. The case took on a racial element as many African-Americans, particularly in the South, viewed Peterson’s actions as similar to the way they were were disciplined themselves—or the way they still discipline their children.