The Minnesota Vikings have decided not to pick up the option on Adrian Peterson, which would have paid him 18 million dollars this upcoming season. The pro bowler running back has only played 1 full season within the last 3 seasons and is coming off knee surgery. At age 31, many suggest that he still has a lot left in the tank and the team have said that they have not closed the door on bringing him back. As typical in sports, especially with black athletes this can’t help but to look like another case of an sacrificing his blood, sweat, and tears for an organization and the organization choosing to move on and say goodbye, once the flavor is seemingly not as sweet anymore.
In limited action last season, Peterson only played in three games due to injury and in 2015 he played in all 16 games and ran for 1485 yards. In 2014 he was suspended due to off field discipline of his children.
The inevitable question is was this release about football or about politics? The thing they say about running backs is that when they hit age 30, most of their skills begin to deteriorate and they start to become useless. However, Peterson is a special talent but it appears that he is not being treated as such. This raises the question, is Adrian Peterson being black balled by the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings?
To dive deeper into this question we have to look at other cases in the NFL, but first we’ll look at why Peterson was suspended by the NFL.
Peterson was suspended by the NFL when his wife called the police and said that her son had marks on his body. It ended up Peterson was the one that caused these marks, after physically disciplining the son with force.
Peterson was doing what reportedly many black parents do to their kids, and opting to physically discipline them.
There are different methods to discipline and a popular method in a black home is physical discipline. As common as his approach may have been, that did not stop it from being publicly condemned by the masses. Like most people in the public light Peterson was heavily scrutinized and made an example of by being suspended by the NFL and criminally charged.
A number of news personalities on TV came out and said that they experienced whoopings by their parents as it was a “regular” in their household, while others suggested that still did not make it right. Hall of Famer Wider Receiver, Cris Carter had some interesting things to say regarding physical punishment in the video below.
Although, Peterson he had some support he still was suspended for the final six games in 2014 without pay, which caused him to miss out on 4.2 million dollars. The NFL’s Commissioner had this to say regarding Peterson’s suspension.
“The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.”~ Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
Peterson fought to gain his right to play in the NFL back and he was reinstated April 16th, 2015. The timing of his case was interesting as the NFL was in the middle of an image issue, largely due to Ray Rice, domestic violence fiasco that took place in early 2014. Additionally, Michael Vick, Aaron Hernandez, Greg Hardy, Darren Sharper had all had their run ins with the law, which was bad for business.
Ray Rice’s video of him striking his wife was so bad that he has still has not found a team, as it is probably safe to say that he has been effectively black balled from the NFL. Though Michael Vick found a team home in Philadelphia post his prison release for fighting dogs, he was not greeted by favorable media or many fans. Apparently not many teams will take on the media storm that will happen with signing these guys, even after they serve time and their punishments. This obviously is not the case for guys like Tom Brady and his cheating issues, Peyton Manning and his sexual assault allegations or even more recently, Josh Brown and his admittance of abusing his wife.
Instead, Rice and Peterson were two black athletes that were good enough to be made examples of and to be the NFL’s way of “cleaning up their image.”
Unlike the Atlanta Falcons, the Vikings did not part right away with Peterson, but they have decided to do so now. Following his reinstatement, Peterson went on to have another pro bowl and First team All Pro season. so why after a torn meniscus sidelines him for majority of the recent season would the Vikings let their game changing running back go? Why just two years removed from a pro bowl and All Pro season have they let him go for another team to resign him?
The 10 year NFL vet has only known Minnesota to be his NFL home but he is coming off a torn miniscus that left him only able to play in 3 games last season. Their willingness to decline his option could be politically driven of business driven depending on who you ask.
According to ESPN, the Vikings are saying that they actually want him back, thus paying 18 million for him seems to be what the hang up was. If that IS indeed the case, a team in the NFL usually works to restructure a player’s deal before outright not picking up their option.
One season you can be a first team All Pro player and then the next season, after an injury, the team will look for your replacement. That’s the business of the NFL, for some players that is.
What are your thoughts? Do you think the Vikings cut Adrian for business reasons or for more than that? Do black athletes get a shorter rope than their white counter parts? Tweet us @theblack_juice to let us know!