Minnesota Vikings running back and NFL superstar Adrian Peterson made the news last week when one of his children was killed in South Dakota by the live-in boyfriend of the child’s mother. This is a tragic story for sure; no one wants a two year-old violently shaken until his brain is scrambled.
There is some controversy about how many children Adrian has fathered. For sure there are five and there is credible evidence that two more might be around somewhere. There are several mothers, some of whom were exotic dancers. By all accounts Adrian pays child support and takes care of the living expenses of the mothers. With his new 7-year $100 million contract (36 million up front) Adrian can easily afford the paltry one million a year that it takes to keep all seven women and their children financially secure.
As a frequent listener to sports radio I was perplexed with the media coverage of this story. The first question asked by many reporters was, “Why did Peterson decide to play so soon after the death of his son? On the other hand, nobody in the sports media world wanted to go within 1,000 feet of the second question, “What kind of a guy fathers seven children from five different mothers in such a brief few years?”
The two questions are very much related to each other. First of all, while Peterson is the biological sperm-donor for a number of different children, by most reports he isn’t much of a father to any of them. Where is the mystery in Peterson’s decision to play football two days after the death of his son? Is it a surprise that lasting emotional and fatherly bonds aren’t created during a one night stand with a pole dancer? If Peterson had married the mother of this two year old boy and had established a home and loving family, would there have been a “live in boyfriend” in his home? The fact is that for most of his offspring Peterson isn’t at home at all; he sends the checks…period.
The second question is related to a general decline of morality in our society. The sports media refuses to scrutinize Peterson about his out of control spermicidal behavior. As long as Peterson doesn’t beat his women, pays child support and continues to be a superstar he will receive a pass from the sports media. Any other man without Peterson’s money or fame would be considered an irresponsible jerk to create so many bastards.
To conclude, beyond the misfortune of Peterson’s children that long so much to be with a full-time father, the society at large suffers because of Peterson’s actions. I doubt that I am alone when I say that young teenagers don’t need a man as a role model who tells them to have fun and spread their seed.