Former NFL star Ricky Williams, who rushed for over 10,000 yards in his career, insisted on Jim Rome on Showtime that Adrian Peterson didn’t do anything wrong to his son. Peterson, who also belongs to the 10,000-yard club, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges after an ex-girlfriend accused him of beating his son with a switch.
“Well, I think unfortunately they’re being grouped together,” Williams told Jim Rome of the Peterson and Ray Rice cases, “and I think totally different situations. I think one it’s more of a cultural issue. I think in the black community we spank our kids, I think, but you look at Ray and there’s no excuse for what he did. And so two different situations, they shouldn’t be grouped together. You know, I don’t think Adrian did anything wrong.”
A dumbfounded host responded, “You don’t?” Williams offered more support for Peterson, arguing that parents deserve deference on corporal punishment. Williams explained:
It’s a cultural—it’s a culture- I guarantee- we talk about in this country you’re supposed to be represented, I mean, when you go to court, a jury of your peers, all right? I guarantee, if you have a jury of all black people, of Adrian Peterson, it’s not an issue. I think, yeah, he might have gone too far, and that’s something, as you have kids and you discipline, you learn. But for all of this? Really? His legacy to be questioned?”
Williams conceded that allegations that the Vikings back inserted leaves into his son’s mouth during the punishment leaves him uncomfortable. But the outrage over Peterson strikes him as outrageous.
“I believe, what, how a parent disciplines his child is what he has to do,” the former Saints, Dolphins, and Ravens running back declared. “I mean, if I found something was wrong with what he did, you know, my mom would have to be under, under the prison. And I looked at how I turned out; she did whatever she had to do to make it work.”