Adrian Peterson: Not a child abuser, but sorry about ‘hurt I have brought’ to son
(CNN) — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said Monday that he is “not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser.”
Peterson, one of the NFL’s marquee players, will practice this week and can play in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, despite facing a child abuse charge, team officials said.
Peterson, who was kept out of Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday, two days after an indictment alleged the 29-year-old father did “recklessly or by criminal negligence cause bodily injury” to his son, a felony.
Peterson quickly posted $15,000 in bail and was released, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
In his first comments on the case, the reinstated NFL star told fans in a written statement posted on his Twitter feed, “I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.”
Despite being advised by his attorney not to discuss details of the case, Peterson wrote, “I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.”
He said that he voluntarily appeared before a grand jury and told its members the same thing, which also matches what he said he told two different police agencies about the incident.
“I will say the same thing once I have my day in court,” he wrote.
In disciplining his son in the same manner as Peterson himself was disciplined as a child, he wrote, he unintentionally caused the boy injury. He understands that there are people who disagree with this form of discipline, he said, and he has met with a psychologist who informed him of more “appropriate” ways to discipline children.
“But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives,” he wrote. “I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.”
He closed his statement by saying that while he isn’t the perfect parent, he is not a child abuser.
“My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day,” he wrote. “I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.”