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Memo to Rick Spielman, Adrian Peterson, and Reggie Bush: WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK THESE KIDS ARE DOING?
I was out of town when the Ray Rice situation imploded around NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but luckily I was back in time for a totally different NFL Player Beating A Loved One And Getting Away With It scandal - hometown guy Adrian Peterson taking a switch to his four-year-old son. Needless to say, when it comes to child abuse, IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!
"I understand that this is a very difficult thing to handle. But we also feel strongly as an organization that this is disciplining a child." - Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman, continuing the NFL's recent public relations streak.
Money and success is a pretty powerful thing. I know Adrian Peterson is an important football player, because I'd heard of him before he whupped his toddler. And he must be so important to the Vikings that their GM is pretending not to understand the difference between what you are doing and how you are going about it.
I mean, the parents over the years who've been found to have been keeping their kids in cages in the basement are "disciplining a child". I understand that corporal punishment is still a thing some parents believe in. I even understand that the use of a belt or a switch is still acceptable in certain quarters. But the kid was four. What's a four-year-old going to learn from repeated whippings?
"He got about five more pops than normal. He didn’t drop one tear! So that was another indicator I'll have try another system with him. Smh he’s tough as nails!" - Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson, in text messages available to his boss at the time of the above quote.
Four. Keep that in mind. Four. Five more pops than normal, but since the kid isn't crying, even though one of the "pops" clipped his four-year-old nutsack, I guess he'll have to try another "system". There is a great deal fucked up about that, including the part where whipping was the FIRST system, and something else will only be tried when that fails.
Now, I admit, I have never parented a four-year-old. But I've met some. At least... four or five, now that I think about it. And I'm having a hell of a time thinking of anything they've done or could do that would be solved by "five more pops than normal". Adrian Peterson may not think he's a child abuser but we generally don't take people's word for it when determining whether or not they've committed a crime. Or are just awful people.
"I most definitely discipline my daughter. I have a 1-year-old daughter and I discipline her. Obviously every person is different. And I definitely will use my best judgement to discipline her, depending on the situation on what happens. I definitely will try to ... obviously not leave bruises or anything like that on her. But I definitely will discipline her harshly depending on, again what the situation is." - Fellow NFL parent Reggie Bush, not so much helping as opening himself up to an investigation of his own.
So, you know, that's apparently where we're at here. It's OK to hit, which from context has to be what Bush means by "discipline", a one-year-old daughter, as long as you're careful not to leave any marks. So I guess the towel full of oranges from The Grifters will be making an appearance in the Bush household before pre-K starts?
The argument for beating children, much like the argument for beating wives, is that the children are the parents' property, to do with as they please, and it's not our place to interfere. That's the official position the Vikings took this week. But even I know that children aren't your property, they're your responsibility. Unless, I guess, you're really good at hanging on to oblate spheroids.