Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson, suspended for the rest of the 2014 season after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault, has reversed his position on using a switch to discipline children.
On Thursday, Peterson told USA Today, “I won’t ever use a switch again. There’s different situations where a child needs to be disciplined as far as timeout, taking their toys away, making them take a nap. There’s so many different ways to discipline your kids.”
That seems to be quite a “switch” from Peterson’s initial position after the whipping. In September, TMZ reported:
According to the police report, Peterson allegedly sent text messages to the child’s mother saying he “felt bad” because he struck the kid in the testicles. “Got him in the nuts once I noticed. But I felt so bad, n I’m all tearing that butt up when needed!” the text said. Peterson allegedly sent a follow up text saying, “Never do I go overboard! But all my kids will know, hey daddy has he biggest heart but don’t play no games when it comes to acting right.”
Peterson’s attorney defended him by claiming, “Adrian is a loving father who used his judgement as a parent to discipline his son. He used the same kind of discipline with his child that he experienced as a child growing up in East Texas.”
Last week, Peterson called his son. He reported, “When he got on the phone, he said, ‘Hey Dad.’ I was like, ‘Hey buddy, how you doing?’ ‘I’m doing OK.’ I was like, ‘I love you.’ He was like, ‘I love you, too, Dad. Can I come over to your house?'”
He added that he truly is sorry for his actions with his son, saying:
No one knows how I felt when I turned my child around after spanking him and seeing what I had left on his leg. No one knows that Dad sat there and apologized to him, hugged him and told him that I didn’t mean to do this to you and how sorry I was. I love my son. I love my kids, my family. Like I said after I took the misdemeanor plea, I take full responsibility for my actions. I regret the situation. I love my son more than any one of you could even imagine.
Peterson waxed eloquent when speaking of his future on Thursday, maintaining: “I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there. But if there’s word out that hey, they might release me, then so be it. I would feel good knowing that I’ve given everything I had in me.”