Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says that while what Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson did to his 4-year-old son — whipping him with a tree branch — constitutes child abuse, O’Reilly is not going to condemn Americans who have spanked their children “gently or lightly,” Mediaite
During a discussion with another Fox host, Martha McCallum, about corporal punishment on “The O’Reilly Factor,” O’Reilly said he does not condone beating children but that a light spanking may sometimes be justified.
“Each child is different,” he said. “And if you’re trying to protect your child from something, and you give them a little whack when they’re younger and they remember that whack because it startles them, that might accomplish it.”
The Vikings have suspended Peterson indefinitely following his indictment last week by a Texas grand jury on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. The team was hammered with criticism after initially reinstating Peterson after he sat out just one game.
The change of course came after sponsors began balking.
Nike pulled all Peterson gear from its shelves in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and has since suspended its endorsement contract with Peterson, the New York Daily News
The Radisson hotel chain suspended its affiliation with the team.
“Radisson takes this matter very seriously, particularly in light of our longstanding commitment to the protection of children,” the company said in a statement. “We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances.”
The Peterson incident came on the heels of the release of a videotape showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking his soon-to-be wife unconscious in an elevator.
The stories have caused an uproar among the public and shined a spotlight on the way the NFL handles domestic abuse.
reported this week that the mother of another of Peterson’s children filed a report with Child Protective Services a year ago accusing Peterson of physically assaulting that child, who was also 4 years old at the time. No charges were ever brought.
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