Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a series of interviews with Sports Illustrated over the last few months that shed light on his feelings about being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list during the 2014 NFL season and the sequence of events that led to him missing the entire season.
When asked about Roger Goodell and his handling of their first face-to-face meeting in New York:
“Roger Goodell, man, I don’t know. . . . This is when I knew he was blind to the fact of what I was going through. I sat down with him. He asked me, ‘What is a whuppin’? . . . It was one of the first questions. . . . It kind of showed me we were on a totally different level. It’s just the way of life. For instance, in Texas, we know what whuppin’s are. Down there, if it snows, people are going to go crazy. They’re going to close schools. They’re going to shut it down. Here, you’re used to that. It was just a tough situation, because of misperception. . . . I get it. I get why. But you still shouldn’t pass judgment on people when you don’t know.”
Peterson still maintains his innocence claiming that he never meant to harm his child, but that he doesn’t consider the incident as abuse. He doesn’t care what doctors, social workers and parents across the country believe, his actions didn’t constitute abuse and shouldn’t be viewed as such.
Peterson also takes issue with ESPN analyst and former Viking Cris Carter said about the incident:
“Cris Carter, he had so much to say,” Peterson says. “In that stage, if I would have seen Cris Carter, I probably would have slapped the taste out of his mouth.” Another pause, as if Peterson realizes how this sounds. “Because that was the mind frame I was in,” he says. “I wouldn’t have done it. But I wanted to.”
Peterson says the whole thing bothers him to this day, “I know in my heart there’s not many fathers better than me,” he says. “I’m that father that the kids run to. I’m the father they want to wrestle and play with.”