Tags: Fox News | Mark Dayton | Fran Tarkenton | Adrian Peterson | Vikings

Fran Tarkenton 'Embarrassed' Vikings Are Letting Peterson Play

Image: Fran Tarkenton 'Embarrassed' Vikings Are Letting Peterson Play
NFL Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 06:24 PM

The Minnesota Vikings made a serious mistake in allowing running back Adrian Peterson to play after his child-abuse indictment, says the state's Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the most famous Minnesota Viking of all, Fran Tarkenton.

Former star quarterback Tarkenton, 74, blasted the Vikings management for allowing Peterson, indicted for abusing his 4-year-old son, to suit up and continue playing while his case winds its way through the courts.

"I'm embarrassed," Tarkenton told Fox News. "I was on the very first Vikings team that ever was, and I'm embarrassed.

"These are serious accusations, and the only way you're going to get the attention of an NFL [National Football League] player is to take away his paycheck and take him off the field. This is way above winning or losing a football game. I strongly disagree with the notion of playing him this week.

"They have a better chance of winning with their best player. That's the message they're sending."

In a statement reported on KARE11 Minneapolis, Drayton said, "It is an awful situation. Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be 'innocent until proven guilty.' However, he is a public figure and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the state of Minnesota.

"Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system."

Peterson has been indicted in Texas on charges of beating his child with a switch and causing visible wounds. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison. The Vikings initially benched Peterson for one game, but later announced they would allow him to suit up for the team's next game against the New Orleans Saints.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said, "Whether it's an abusive situation or not, or whether he went too far in disciplining, we feel very strongly that that is the court's decision to make, but we also understand the seriousness of abusing children as well," Fox News reported, but Tarkenton does not consider that to be sufficient.

"That is the message that's being sent by this action: winning is more important than defending a 4-year-old child," he said.

"The fans ought to stand up and make their voices heard. Don't blame it on [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell or even the team. These issues of domestic violence and child abuse are big stuff. This is bigger than football. This is a societal problem and every living American knows it."

Goodell came under fire after the decision to suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for just two games when a shocking video emerged of him knocking his then-girlfriend, now wife, Janay Palmer, unconscious in an Atlantic City elevator.

Rice eventually was dropped by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the NFL, and faces third-degree assault charges that could put him in jail for three to five years.

Peterson was reported to Child Protective Services last year for beating another of his children, also 4 years old, but no charges were filed, reports ESPN.

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The Minnesota Vikings made a serious mistake in allowing running back Adrian Peterson to play after his child-abuse indictment, says the state's Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the most famous Minnesota Viking of all, Fran Tarkenton.
Mark Dayton, Fran Tarkenton, Adrian Peterson, Vikings
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2014-24-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 06:24 PM
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