Minnesota governor Mark Dayton released a statement Tuesday condemning Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings in the wake of accusations of child abuse against the running back. Dayton called on the organization to suspend Peterson until the case "has been resolved in the criminal justice system."
Peterson was immediately deactivated for Week 2 after news broke Friday evening that he had been indicted for abusing his four-year-old son with a switch in Houston, and that a warrant was out for his arrest. The Vikings have already declared Peterson active for their Week 3 bout against the New Orleans Saints, however.
More on Peterson
More on Peterson
Peterson apologized for the incident, admitting that he "disciplined" his child, but that he "did not intend to cause him any injury" and is not a child abuser.
General manager Rick Spielman held a press conference Monday where he explained the team's decision to allow Peterson to play while the legal process plays out. Spielman said that the team had seen photos of cuts and bruises on the child released in a report by SportsRadio 610 in Houston, and that they were "disturbing, to be clear." He iterated, however, that "we feel strongly as an organization this is disciplining a child."
On Tuesday, Dayton agreed with Spielman that Peterson is "entitled to due process," but that the accusations are "a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota."
The governor's full statement below:
It is an awful situation. Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be "innocent until proven guilty." However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.
However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota - and in Minnesota. This has been the team's only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.