NBA legend Charles Barkley defended indicted Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on Sunday’s edition of “NFL Today,” saying black parents “whip” their kids “all the time.”
“Whipping – we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances,” Barkley said.
He also argued that he was “beat with switches” by his parents when he was a kid, adding that the media refers to it as “beating a child” while some parents call it “spanking” or “whipping.”
“I think we have to really be careful trying to teach other parents how to discipline their kids. That’s a very fine line,” Barkley added.
Host Jim Rome pushed back when Barkley defended Peterson and claimed that it becomes child abuse when there are "open wounds" visible. Barkley admitted the photos that have emerged are "disturbing."
Peterson was indicted by a grand jury on Friday for reckless or negligent injury to a child after he allegedly disciplined his son by whipping him with a “switch.” The 4-year-old boy reportedly ended up with bruises and other injuries.
Peterson released a statement on Monday apologizing for the “hurt I have brought to my child.” He also claimed that he is “without a doubt, not a child abuser.”
Read the full statement below:
My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.
I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.
I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.
I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.
I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But 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. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.
I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. 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. 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.
I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.
The Minnesota Vikings announced on Monday that Peterson would be reinstated and likely play on Sunday amid the abuse charges.
(H/T: Daily Mail)