‘I am not a child abuser,” Adrian Peterson defends himself, apologizes

Adrian Peterson has spoken out for the first time since his arrest for severely whipping his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch – apologizing, but also defending his actions.

The statement come as the Minnesota Vikings reinstated him today today after he missed just one game following child abuse charges this weekend.

‘I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury,’ Peterson said.

‘No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.’

Peterson, the Vikings’ highest-paid player and biggest star, was booted from the team’s roster for Sunday’s 30-7 loss against the New England Patriots.

However, he is back on the practice field today and will play next week against the New Orleans Saints.

‘To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child,’ Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said in a statement.

‘At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action.’

Peterson turned himself into police in his hometown of Spring, Texas, on Saturday after detectives issued an arrest warrant for the May beating.

The boy had wounds on his thighs, backside and even his genitals following the beating.

Peterson has admitted to whipping his son, but his attorney said he was only using the discipline he himself had received as a child growing up in East Texas.

In his statement, he defended the motivation behind the severe discipline he meted out, saying: ‘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.

‘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.’

However, Peterson said he has seen a psychologist, who told him that there are usually better ways to discipline children than hitting them. He said he has had to ‘reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward.’

The Vikings owners, the Wilf brothers, said they decided to bring Peterson back on the team after ‘significant thought, discussion and consideration.

‘As evidenced by our decision to deactivate Adrian from yesterday’s game, this is clearly a very important issue. On Friday, we felt it was in the best interests of the organization to step back, evaluate the situation, and not rush to judgment given the seriousness of this matter.

‘At that time, we made the decision that we felt was best for the Vikings and all parties involved.’

Peterson’s importance to the Vikings is hard to overstate. He is a former MVP who hold several NFL records for rushing. His six-year, $86million contract makes him by far the highest-paid player on the team.

His 1,266 rushing yards last season accounted for nearly a quarter of the entire team’s offense. He scored ten of the team’s 45 touchdowns.

Hours after the arrest, the Vikings decided not to play Peterson against the Patriots, moving swiftly after a week in which the NFL came under heavy scrutiny for its handling of a domestic violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

But unlike a previous case involving former cornerback Chris Cook, the Vikings have decided to allow Peterson to return to the field while the legal process unfolds.

More at The DailyMail Online.

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