Saturday, October 12, 2013
Where were you, Dad?
At this point, I have more questions than I have sympathy for Adrian Peterson, whose two year old son died after allegedly being beaten by the boyfriend of the child's mother.
What was the nature of the relationship between Peterson and the mother?
How long has Peterson known he had a two year old son in another city?
What moral and financial commitments did he make when he found out the child was his?
Was Peterson aware that his son was living under the same roof as a man who has a documented history of physically abusing women and children, and if not, why not?
Early indications are that Peterson only recently discovered that the boy was his son, and some of his comments since the toddler's death suggest there was little or no emotional bond between the two. No loving, doting father I've ever met would show up for work two days after his son was allegedly beaten into a coma, and pronounce himself "ready to roll" for a football game. Neither his words nor his demeanor spoke of a father in deep distress or mourning.
Peterson is not the criminally guilty party in this case, but as the story unfolds, it becomes increasingly apparent that he was resting on the rich athlete's sense of entitlement to being a non-custodial sperm donor and/or ATM machine. That's not child abandonment according to criminal law, but it is an abdication of a father's moral responsibility.
An absentee father cannot protect his son, and Adrian Peterson's son clearly needed protection.