Writer Responds to Adrian Peterson's Handling of Son's Death
Phil Mushnick, a writer for the New York Times, recently used the publication to speak out against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for playing a football game just days after his 2-year-old son was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend. Mushnick, for some reason, noted Peterson’s past run-in’s with the law, and questioned why AP did not grieve the same way he would have if it was his own son.
I’m sorry to tell you, Mr. Mushnick, but not everybody is you.
Everyone grieves in different ways. Some cry uncontrollably and find it difficult to breathe. Others lash out and seek revenge. In the case of the reigning NFL MVP, his escape was football.
There’s not a problem with that. Many athletes turn to sports to alleviate the pain of a tragedy. In 2003, a day after his father passed away, former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre played arguably the greatest game of his career on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders. A week after the attacks of September 11th, 2001, sports gave many Americans comfort and a way to take their minds off of the darkest day in United States history.
If Adrian Peterson finds his solace on the football field, who are we to judge?
A.P. would have a modest day on the field, carrying 10 times for 62 yards before the Vikings fell far behind in their loss to Carolina. He could have easily sat and grieved in his own home, away from the media spotlight. Instead, Peterson went back to work. The amount of support not only from fans, but the media, his peers, and the entire NFL was overwhelming. Adrian Peterson needed football this weekend almost as much as football needed him.
It does not matter how many touchdowns you score or how much money you are paid. At the end of the day, we are all human. We have our successes and we have our faults. Adrian Peterson admits that, despite what we have seen on the football field, he is flawed.
Playing a football game to ease the pain of the death of his son is not one of them.