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Nike Drops Adrian Peterson As He Awaits NFL Approval To Return

Photo by Flickr/Mike Morbeck

Photo by Flickr/Mike Morbeck

While awaiting word from the NFL on when he can resume his career, Adrian Peterson received some bad news: Nike, the shoe and apparel giant, terminated its endorsement contract with the star running back.

Peterson this week accepted a plea deal in the reckless or negligent injury to a child case that had kept him sidelined the last two months.

A morals clause in his (and all athletes’) contract allowed Nike to cut its ties with Peterson after he pleaded no-contest this week to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault on his 4-year-old son.

Peterson is the fourth athlete to lose a Nike deal this year, including ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (domestic violence), South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius (culpable homicide of girlfriend) and UFC fighter Jon Jones (brawl at a press conference). Peterson also lost endorsement deals with Castrol and EpiPen when he was brought up on charges.

Meanwhile, Peterson is in limbo as the NFL contemplates its action.

“We will review the matter, including the court record, and then make a determination on his status,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy.

The NFLPA issued a statement regarding the NFL’s decision to not immediately re-instate Peterson: “Our union worked with the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian’s representatives on a mutual agreement pending the adjudication of his legal case. Now that his legal matter is resolved, we believe it is Adrian’s right to be treated in a manner that is consistent with similar cases under our collective bargaining agreement.”

Peterson said: “I’m just glad this is over and I can put this behind me and me and my family can move forward.”

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