It was just Monday that the Minnesota Vikings thought it was OK for Adrian Peterson to return to the team, ready to play the following Sunday. Nothing had really changed from the week before when they decided to make him inactive for the teams game against New England. Yet the change was made and Peterson was back in business.
Less than 48 hours later, Peterson was back on the shelf, this time on the NFL’s exempt/commissioner’s permission list, until his child-abuse case is resolved. He must stay away from the team while he addresses the charges in Texas.
So what’s changed from Monday until now?
How about public pressure. How about Minnesota’s governor, who backed the Viking ownership team in the construction of a new indoor facility, and his concerns about having Peterson return to active duty. And perhaps most of all, how about sponsor discontent.
Several sponsors responded to the Vikings move on Monday by suspending their deals with the team or severing ties with Peterson. That forced Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf to revisit the situation on Tuesday.
The Vikings ownership in a statement said, “While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian.”
Again, what changed or was about to change? The Wilf’s pocket books! They were about to realize a backlash that every millionaire/billionaire can understand, M-O-N-E-Y.
Certainly the move was the correct one, but it should never have come to this. The ownership team should have said to themselves, 1) what is the right thing to do, 2) what would our fans and sponsors expect us to do.
Certainly not all decision-making can be taken care of based on the above criteria, but it’s a good start.
It’s too bad the Vikings product on the field will suffer, but the team’s suffering is minor in comparison to that of the 4-year-old son of Adrian Peterson, who was allegedly beaten with a switch for disciplinary reasons.
What kind of message was being sent on Monday when Peterson was reinstated? The Wilf’s deny the change in direction had anything to do with fan and sponsorship discontent. Does anyone really believe that?
In the end, benching Peterson until this case is resolved was the right thing to do. What’s concerning is how we got to this point!