It seems as though the NFL’s biggest stars are getting “tackled” in the worst ways possible these days. From the Baltimore Ravens’ former running back Ray Rice to the Minnesota Vikings’ own Adrian Peterson, the issues in both of these cases have gained public attention.
Recently, Peterson was indicted on September 11th by a Texas grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child due to an incident back in May. Peterson is accused of beating his four-year-old son with a leafless tree branch after videos surfaced of the bruised child’s legs. Peterson says he spanked his child with the tree branch as a form of punishment because his son was misbehaving.
“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,” said Peterson through a post on Twitter.
“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, the public outcry has been a huge debate between discipline and child abuse.
Many individuals have expressed their opinions on the subject. Some have said that they have gotten beatings by a belt or a pat on the behind when they were younger as a way to learn their lesson when they misbehaved or disobeyed their parents but never saw it as child abuse.
“When we were growing up, you got disciplined with switches and we got paddled in school,” said Chris Keeble of Columbus, Ohio, according to a September 15th article from the Central Ohio’s News Leader.
Twitter user Michael Carter agreed with Keeble’s sentiments.
“If the man wants to use a switch on his kid it should be his choice! More parents should do so!”
This debate is catching attention from other athletes as well.
“Every black parent in the South disciplines their child in a manner similar to how Peterson allegedly punished his son by striking him with a switch,” said former NBA star, Charles Barkley.
Others have publicly stood against corporal punishment such as the following tweeter.
Those against it believe the effects of spanking and beating will hurt the child’s life. They believe the child won’t perform well in school and will act out more or perform the same behavior on their future children.
As the debate continues and Peterson continues to defend himself, always be on alert for any cases of child abuse. Please dial 911 immediately if you ever suspect that someone is in danger.