Tag Archives: football

Adrian Peterson, Child Abuse, And Why It Doesn’t Matter If That’s How You Were Raised

peterson

It is never acceptable to beat a little kid bloody with a weapon, because that is always child abuse.

I can’t believe it’s 2014 and I have to spell that out for people. Yet in the wake of star running back Adrian Peterson’s grand jury indictment for reckless and negligent injury to a child, it’s clear there are grown men and women out there who still think it’s OK to strip leaves off a tree branch and whip a 4-year-old until he bleeds. To stuff leaves in his mouth. To cut him on the legs, thighs, buttocks, and scrotum. To whip him between 10-15 times, leaving defensive wounds on the poor kid’s hands that were still readily apparent even a week later when photographs were taken.

What Adrian Peterson did was wrong. That’s fact, not opinion. And yet, for so many, they don’t accept that. Why?

I’ve been told it’s a southern thing. A cultural thing. A black thing. A religious thing. I’ve been told it’s the only way to make sure children are raised to be respectful. I’ve been told if more kids were disciplined like this, there would be fewer school shootings and spoiled children. But mostly, I’ve been told this kind of corporal punishment is acceptable because the parents who do it were raised this way themselves. And after all, they were whipped and they turned out just fine.

Want to know how I know they’re wrong? Because they still think it’s OK to take up weapons against children and beat them bloody.

If this is part of your southern culture, then your southern culture condones child abuse and needs to change. If this is because you’re African-American, then the black community needs some serious internal reflection and a change of heart, because this is wrong. And if this is how you were raised, well…I’m sorry for that. But just because your parents made a terrible mistake out of ignorance, doesn’t mean you have to continue the violent cycle.

Because that’s the thing — your parents weren’t perfect. They made mistakes, probably because they didn’t know any better. Some of our parents smoked while pregnant because the dangers of smoking weren’t well established yet, or didn’t use car seats because the safety standards weren’t in place. Our parents didn’t have the wealth of information available to us today, so why repeat mistakes made out of ignorance when we know better now?

NFL analyst Cris Carter — a black NFL Hall of Famer no less — said he was whipped as a child when disciplined. However, he chose to parent a different way. Watch this.

Cris Carter learned from his mom’s mistakes. But the saddest part of this whole fiasco is Adrian Peterson believes he didn’t do a damn thing wrong.

When Peterson was asked how he felt about the incident, he said, “To be honest with you, I feel very confident with my actions because I know my intent.”

If Adrian Peterson thinks he turned out so wonderful because he was whipped with various objects as a child, just imagine what he could’ve accomplished if he hadn’t been physically abused. And I’m sorry, but when it comes to putting our kids in danger with physical violence, ignorance is no excuse.

And let’s not forget, this is a TEXAS grand jury that indicted him. If I had to pick a state that would likely be the most lenient on a parent engaging in corporal punishment, Texas would top the list. Yet here Peterson is, facing charges. And boy do I hope he’s found guilty.

Also, please don’t let Peterson’s defenders turn this into a public debate on spanking and government intrusion in our lives.

This isn’t about spanking because Adrian Peterson didn’t spank his son. I can count on one hand the times I’ve given my oldest a swat on the butt, mainly because he was attempting to run toward the road or trying to tear off the electrical outlet cover after putting his hand in the dog’s water bowl. And even then, it wasn’t the force that made him cry it was the stern “NO!” that accompanies the light spank.

That’s in stark contrast to Peterson, who reportedly took the time to fashion himself a switch and proceeded to beat his small child bloody with it by hitting him more than a dozen times. A grown man who smashes into offensive linemen and linebackers for a living, whipping a small boy who he’s supposed to love and care for. How anyone can defend that is beyond me.

Allow me to bottom line this for you. If you think hitting your kid with a stick until he bleeds is an acceptable form of punishment, you’re a bad parent. And, more than likely, you’re engaging in a criminal act. Your culture, race, ethnicity, and upbringing don’t matter in this instance. I don’t care where you’re from or what color you are, because when you decide to whip your 4-year-old with the branch of a tree, you are committing a crime. And I hope you face the same charges Peterson is facing.

But mostly, I hope it doesn’t get to that point. I’m hoping this will be a wake-up call to the parents who still condone this kind of nonsense. I’m hoping people realize you can raise respectful kids without beating them with tree branches and household objects.

Times have changed. And they’ve changed for the better. So stop abusing your kids.

Share Button

Gender Matters: My Son Won’t Play with “Girl Toys”

boys_girls

“Will doesn’t care about Elsa from Frozen. He’s a boy and that’s girl stuff.”

That’s what a dad said to his daughter in front of my 5-year-old son recently. My son who, just a few days earlier, excitedly danced in his seat while watching Frozen in a movie theater accompanied by — gasp! — me. His dad. Yup, that’s right. A father and son trip to see an animated Disney musical about sisters, relationships, love, and sacrifice.

You know, total chick stuff.

Since this is someone we encounter on a fairly regular basis, I suppressed the dad blogger rage and accompanying vehement diatribe on gender equality that was desperately attempting to escape from my mouth. But I saw the confused (and slightly ashamed) look on my son’s face and it broke my heart, so I knew I had to say something.

“Actually, Will and I saw Frozen and we absolutely loved it. That movie is great and it’s for boys just as much as girls,” I said, choking down my anger. “Right buddy?”

But after hearing it labeled a “girl movie” and therefore unacceptable, all Will would offer at that point was a tepid “Well, it was OK.” Just OK. Three days ago it had been deemed “AWESOME!!!!!!”

And then it was my heart that broke.

Continue reading

Share Button

The Patriots with Another Miracle Finish Against the Browns

Pat_Patriot_LogoIf it seems like I’m beginning to collect a library of unbelievable memories this season, it’s because I am.

First the Patriots pulled off a miraculous comeback win against the New Orleans Saints (my phone was dead so the video is someone else’s). Then they overcame a 24-0 deficit to beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos. And last night, I hit the trifecta as I was present for yet ANOTHER miracle finish.

With just more than two minutes to go in the game, the Patriots were trailing the Cleveland Browns by 12 points. And although the Patriots have pulled horseshoes out of their asses twice already this season, some fans just never learn because a bunch of people began to head for the exits.

Screw those morons.

Tom Brady led the Patriots down the field and scored a touchdown with a little more than a minute, and after the 2-point conversion it was a 5-point game. Thanks to a personal foul penalty on the touchdown, the Patriots ensuing onside kick was moved up 15 yards. But still, all the Browns had to do was recover it and the game would be over. Here’s what happened (NSFW due to my nervous swearing).

But even then, the Patriots had to go 40 yards in less than a minute with no timeouts. No easy task for sure, but this is Tom Brady we’re talking about.

After a couple of plays and an admittedly ticky-tack pass interference call in the end zone (hey, the Patriots were due for a call to go their way after getting robbed in the Jets and Panthers games), the Patriots found themselves with 1st and goal at the 1. Just one yard away from perhaps their biggest miracle to date.

Here’s the result (again, NSFW because of swearing).

The Patriots lost their most important offensive player next to Tom Brady in Rob Gronkowski, and I still don’t expect them to do anything much in the playoffs. But with all their injuries this year, I’m really proud of this Patriots team. And regardless of what happens, we’ve some some unbelievably special games this season.

And the best part is when I look back on these videos I’ll see a familiar pattern. The Patriots win, I scream like a maniac, and I immediately turn the camera toward my dad — the screaming maniac who taught me how to be a screaming maniac and also to ALWAYS stay until the end.

I can’t wait until my boys are filming me going nuts at Gillette Stadium one day.

Share Button

Tom Brady & the Patriots Beat Peyton Manning & the Broncos in Miracle Fashion

gillette_panYes I was there. Yes I thought the Patriots were done after halftime. No I didn’t leave early.

The first half of that game was one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Three possessions, three fumbles. Ridley and Blount benched. Brady strip-sacked. Defense gives up more than 100 yards rushing before halftime. Nary a spark of life to be seen among anyone wearing a Patriots jersey.

Did I boo? You bet your ass I did. And they deserved it.

However, thousands of fans left. Because it was cold (and yes, it really was freezing with a wind chill of 6 degrees). Because it was late. Because it was ugly. I didn’t think the Patriots stood a chance at winning that game, but I stayed because that’s what you do as a fan. You can bitch, whine, complain, and boo to your heart’s content — but you stay at that fucking game and you watch your team.

Especially this season, as the Patriots are no strangers to miracle finishes.

Because if you stay — if you stick it out through the cold and the misery — sometimes you’re rewarded with a memory like this one.

(FYI — there’s some swearing. I really hate Peyton Manning)

Share Button

Q&A with Drew Brees: Fatherhood, Family & Football

breesI get a lot of PR pitches. I turn down a lot of PR pitches. But when one of them says “Would you be interested in an interview with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees,” you sit up and pay attention.

After I made sure I wasn’t being Punk’d by one of my idiot friends, I quickly and eagerly agreed. I mean, this is Drew Brees. Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. The guy who holds the single season passing record with 5,476 yards. And even though he’s not a member of my beloved New England Patriots, I like Drew on a personal level because he’s a notoriously devoted husband, father of three little boys, and genuinely nice guy by all accounts.

Heck, aside from his elite athletic prowess and the fact that he’s a millionaire star athlete, we’re practically the same person!

But seriously, I was so excited and honored to get this opportunity. Even though I worked as a journalist for a long time and interviewed some pretty big names, I still get a kick out of talking to celebrities. Especially when it’s someone like Drew, who combines my love of football and fatherhood. And with so much going on in the NFL right now (concussion issues, player safety, locker room bullying, etc) it was a perfect opportunity to get a peek behind the curtain.

This opportunity comes courtesy of Tide’s “Color Captains” program, in which 32 NFL players (one from each team) capture pictures of their team colors in celebration of fans and football throughout the season.

So without further ado, here’s my Q&A with star NFL quarterback Drew Brees (and there’s a distinct possibility I may have jabbed him about losing to the Patriots earlier this season).

Continue reading

Share Button