Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the center of a child abuse controversy in Texas, should be suspended, per Minnesota governor Mark Dayton.
If Minnesota governor Mark Dayton were to have it his way, he would suspend Adrian Peterson until the air on the latter's child abuse case clears.
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According to The Minneapolis Star Tribune's Patrick Condon, Dayton "believes Peterson is innocent until proven guilty" but at the same time called the predicament "a public embarrassment" to the team:
"Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that the Minnesota Vikings should suspend running back Adrian Peterson until accusations of child abuse against him have been resolved in the criminal justice system.
"Calling the allegations and their fallout 'an awful situation,' Dayton said he believes Peterson is innocent until proven guilty and that he deserves due process. But he also called the allegations, that Peterson used a wooden switch to discipline his four-year-old son, 'a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota.'
"Dayton's remarks came in a statement from his office. The governor is in Washington, D.C., raising funds for his re-election campaign.
"'Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state,' Dayton said.
"Peterson has denied being a child abuser, saying he was using the same disciplinary methods that he experienced as a child. The Vikings had kept Peterson out of Sunday's game, but announced Monday that he would be reinstated and playing next Sunday.
"Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Dayton's statement. The DFL governor has worked closely with the team throughout his first term, both as advocate for partial public funding of the new stadium now under construction in downtown Minneapolis, and to help promote a subsequent, successful bid for Minnesota to host the 2018 Super Bowl in the new stadium.
"'I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested,' Dayton said. 'The Vikings belong in Minnesota -- and in Minnesota. This has been the only team's home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.'"
ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter Ben Goessling also reported on the development on Sept. 16:
"The governor of Minnesota has joined the chorus of those calling for the Minnesota Vikings to suspend running back Adrian Peterson.
"Mark Dayton -- who spearheaded the legislative fight for the Vikings' new $1 billion stadium and stood next to team owner Zygi Wilf at the groundbreaking in November -- released a statement on Tuesday saying he believes the Vikings should take Peterson off the field until his child abuse case is resolved in Montgomery County, Texas.
"Peterson was indicted on one count of negligent injury to a child Friday, stemming from an incident earlier this year when he used a switch to discipline his son, and he will make his first appearance in court on Oct. 8. His case might not go to trial until next year, however, and the Vikings announced on Monday that Peterson will be allowed to play while his case is being decided.
"...Minnesota senator Al Franken also said Tuesday that Peterson should not be allowed to play.
"'It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear about what happened to this child. I'm a die-hard Vikings fan, and watching the games on Sundays has been one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid. But this is just wrong, and I think the Vikings made the wrong decision here,' he said.
"'This is in the hands of law enforcement now, and it must go through the judicial process, but I don't believe Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play until that happens. A lot of kids look up to these players, and it's not OK for the Vikings to send the signal that what happened is acceptable. This is bigger than a football game.'
The 29-year-old Peterson is in his eighth NFL season. He has rushed for 10,190 yards and 86 touchdowns in 104 career regular-season games, per ESPN stats.
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