I feel like I’m rewriting the Ray Rice situation. In just a week the NFL has another abuse case to deal with regarding a star running back. Only this time its a superstar and the situation even dicier. Only thing that has stayed the same is the incompetence of the league to handle the matter right away without error.
The Minnesota Vikings initially deactivated Peterson for their Week 2 game against the New England Patriots which the Vikings lost 30-7 for Peterson’s indictment on child abuse in Texas. The team then activated Peterson and expected him to play this week. Then another case came out. Then sponsors started dropping the Vikings like a bad habit. Nike just suspended Peterson‘s endorsement deal this morning, Radisson Hotels suspended theirs with the Vikings yesterday. Now the Vikings decided to suspend Peterson indefinitely until the legal process is handled.
I have no issue with the punishment just how it was handled. Exactly like the Rice case, the owners and league officials didn’t want to put their hands in the mud and talk about what happened and the punishment for Peterson. Yet again, the team owner wasn’t the first one to make a public statement. Where does the cowardice stop? These are the same owners who are first to the podium when their team wins a Super Bowl, but when there’s real work to be done they are no where to be found. The Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has yet to come out and talk about Greg Hardy’s domestic assault case which is quietly the worse of the bunch.
Clearly the NFL has damaged their brand in such a way that’s almost laughable. Roger Goodell has seen his league’s prestige fall down the tubes in just two weeks. The most laughable part about the whole Peterson case is there is no strict policy regarding child abuse. Are you kidding me? So Peterson’s indefinite suspension just like his fellow running back Ray Rice’s is a public reaction punishment. The Vikings were more than fine having Peterson play through his case and if found guilty deal with it then. Let me be clear, its not just the Vikings, but the Ravens, Panthers, 49ers and almost every professional sports team. Owners have to man up and take care of situations swiftly, not wait for public opinion. We have to stop valuing the game over life. Peterson and Rice have already owned up to their mistakes, will Goodell and the owners ever own up to theirs? Don’t bet on it.