Adrian Peterson explains decision to play against Panthers after son’s death
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is dealing with an unspeakable tragedy. As most of you know, Peterson’s 2-year-old son was allegedly beaten to death earlier this week. Yet somehow, he has chosen to play against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Many have wondered how Peterson can possibly play this week given the emotions he must be experiencing. He explained his decision in a text message to Laura Okmin of FOX Sports on Sunday.
“My brother passed the night before the (NFL Combine) and I decided to go through with it,” Peterson wrote, via FOX Sports’ Mike Garafolo. “The same reason why I will play this week. You may ask why? God wants good to come from it … we mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace. I’m still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I’m able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place.”
The brother Peterson referred to is his stepbrother, who was shot and killed in Houston in 2007. When AP was only 7 years old, his 9-year-old brother and best friend Brian was killed by a drunken driver as he rode his bicycle.
People grieve in a variety of ways. Peterson is not yet 30 and has already experienced a lifetime of sadness due to the deaths of family members. We hope playing on Sunday can be therapeutic for him in some small way.