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Adrian Peterson told USA Today that he “won’t ever use a switch again” and acknowledged he might not return to the Minnesota Vikings.
Peterson’s interview with the newspaper, published on Friday, was his first extensive comment since his Sept. 11 indictment for child abuse and the suspension that followed. The running back allegedly injured his 4-year-old son after hitting him with a switch, or tree branch, in May.
In the interview, Peterson maintained he was disciplining his son the way he was disciplined as a child, and he expressed remorse for injuring his son.
“I won’t ever use a switch again,” Peterson told the newspaper. “There’s different situations where a child needs to be disciplined as far as timeout, taking their toys away, making them take a nap. There’s so many different ways to discipline your kids.”
On Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent Peterson a letter stating the earliest reinstatement would be considered is April 15. In the letter, Goodell explained several factors contributed to the enhanced ban, including Peterson failing to show “meaningful remorse” for his actions.
Peterson emphasized to the newspaper that his remorse is real and said he wants to repair the relationship with his son.
“No one knows how I felt when I turned my child around after spanking him and seeing what I had left on his leg,” Peterson said. “No one knows that Dad sat there and apologized to him, hugged him and told him that I didn’t mean to do this to you and how sorry I was.
“Ultimately, I know I’ll have my opportunity to sit down with Roger face to face, and I’ll be able to say a lot of the same things that I’ve said to you,” Peterson said. “Don’t say that I’m not remorseful, because in my statement, I showed that I was remorseful. I regretted everything that took place. I love my child, more than anyone could ever imagine.”
On his future with the Vikings, Peterson told the paper: “I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there,” Peterson said. “But if there’s word out that hey, they might release me, then so be it. I would feel good knowing that I’ve given everything I had in me.”
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