Minnesota Vikings running back says he is "not a child abuser."
The Minnesota Vikings announced Monday that they are reinstating Adrian Peterson despite an ongoing investigation into whether or not he abused his four-year-old son or simply went too far while disciplining him. That decision, for now, clears the way for the star running back to play in the Vikings’ Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
Also on Monday, Peterson released a lengthy apology statement to the media, explaining how sorry he is for the hurt he administered to his son, but how he is "not a child abuser."
"I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child," Peterson said in the statement. "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," he continued. "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."
He added later in the statement: "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."
To read Peterson’s statement in full, click here. Despite the Vikings clearing the way for Peterson to rejoin the team and play currently, the star rusher will make his first court appearance Wednesday at a hearing in Conroe, Texas. There, he is expected to enter a plea. Peterson is facing up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if found guilty of child abuse.
Peterson was indicted for child abuse of his son on Friday. He surrendured to Montgomery County, Texas police early Saturday morning and was released 30 minutes later on $15,000 bond. He then was removed from the Vikings’ lineup against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
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(Photo: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)