It is okay for fans to not root for Adrian Peterson anymore

(John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images)
(John Autey / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images) /

For some people, the damage the former Minnesota Vikings running back did to his reputation off the field will forever tarnish his legacy with the team.

Midway through Thursday night’s matchup between the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins, current Redskins running back Adrian Peterson took a carry that ended up increasing his career rushing total to the be the sixth-most in NFL history.

Coincidentally, the history-making moment for Peterson came against a team in the Vikings that drafted him and gave him a home for the first 10 years of his career in the league.

A little later on in the matchup, the former Minnesota running back was shown on the big screen inside U.S. Bank Stadium with a graphic displaying his latest accomplishment and a good portion of the stadium began to cheer again for someone they watched make a number of memorable moments in a purple and gold uniform.

Peterson acknowledged the applause and following the game, he told reporters that he had to, “hold back tears,” during a moment that he might have never imagined would happen.

While him getting cheers from his former home fans might have seemed like a great moment for some, his presence on the field only brought back bad memories for others.

Sure, Peterson accomplished a lot during his football career with the Vikings. But his behavior off of the field during his tenure in Minnesota is something that a number of people will never be able to erase from their mind, no matter how much time passes by.

It was just a little over five years ago when Peterson was arrested and charged with crimes related to child abuse after the 220-pound running back beat his four-year-old son with a switch. To this day, the details of the incident are still extremely disturbing.

"“The beating allegedly resulted in numerous injuries to the child, including cuts and bruises to the child’s back, buttocks, ankles, legs, and scrotum, along with defensive wounds to the child’s hands.The child also expressed worry that Peterson would punch him in the face if the child reported the incident to authorities. He also said that he had been hit by a belt and that, ‘there are a lot of belts in Daddy’s closet.’ He added that Peterson put leaves in his mouth when he was being hit with the switch while his pants were down. The child told his mother that Peterson “likes belts and switches” and “has a whooping room.”"

The former Vikings running back ultimately missed 15 games of the 2014 season due to his stupidity and he somehow avoided jail time.

Naturally, one would think that such a big incident like this would have an impact on how Peterson continues to raise his children. But unfortunately, he admitted less than a year ago that he still uses a belt to discipline his kids.

So this is the guy people were standing up and cheering for inside U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday. Someone who clearly was never sorry for what he did to an innocent, four-year-old child in 2014 and only apologized because the incident was made public.

A good amount of those people who were cheering for Peterson on Thursday have or have had young children of their own. If someone did what the former Vikings running back did to one of their own kids, most would want that person to serve serious jail time.

Some believe that Peterson has the right to discipline his children with violence and people shouldn’t make a big deal about it because their parents beat them when they were growing up too. But just because it was a more frequent method of discipline 30 or 40 years ago, does not mean it wasn’t wrong.

So for those who were left perplexed from the standing ovation that Peterson was given on Thursday night, your feelings are perfectly normal. But the same actually goes for the fans inside U.S. Bank Stadium who chose to cheer for the running back too.

Everyone has their right to choose what they support and what they don’t support. For those who decided to applaud Peterson on Thursday though, they just need to remember that the guy they cheered for has done some disgustingly, unforgivable things during his lifetime.

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And being opposed to the reaction the former Minnesota running back was given does not make someone any less of a fan of the team. These people just feel that beating a four-year-old isn’t deserving of an applause break.