Dear NFL, 

There is no rational argument to hit a child. There is no rational argument to keep a player who admits to hitting a child so hard that he breaks the skin in multiple places.

The recent NFL domestic violence incidents and past history reveal a terrible culture within your organization. You need help and I hope you find it quickly. 

Sincerely, 
A Fading Fan
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Now is the time to strike back with arguments because I'm tired of those who believe it is okay to strike a child. Or those who believe there is a difference between a smack on the butt to a whipping with a belt. Or a difference between a whack with a wooden spoon or a lashing with a tree branch. Or the difference between a slap on the face and a punch to the mouth. There is no difference. Hitting another human being is wrong, especially one who is smaller than you, weaker than you, and has a less developed brain. You, the adult, are smarter than that.
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This week it was revealed that Adrian Peterson, NFL football player with the Minnesota Vikings, struck his four year old child so hard with a tree branch that he left bleeding lashes on his legs and hands. The online pictures are gruesome. He was indicted in Texas at the end of last week and as I understand has confessed. He was suspended for a game by the Vikings, and then reinstated two days later to practice and play with the team. He released a statement.

In the statement he talks about how he was raised, clearly thinking this was normal behavior. I just don't understand why anyone in the 21st century can believe that physical violence against a child is acceptable, no matter the degree or personal history. We should all understand there are discipline alternatives proven by science. Maybe he has good intentions, but I think this statement is in big part a cover to make the mea culpa look good. It reads as though it was very carefully crafted by a talented public relations team that is working hard to help save the Vikings season and Mr. Peterson's career. I find it almost more repugnant that there are people more interested in helping others save their financial investment than they are helping to educate the public about eliminating corporal child abuse as a discipline methodology.

If Mr. Peterson were a teacher, he would be suspended until the outcome of his trial and/or punishment. At which point, I'm sure his contract as a teacher would be terminated due to a morality clause. Unfortunately, Mr. Peterson is a teacher. Every week he is on that television demonstrating how a quality football player should work and behave in front of millions of children. The NFL is an education organization. Ethics, morality, and citizenship should be a part of their program.

If I were running the NFL here's what I would do:
  1. Fire those who continue to perpetrate and tolerate domestic violence.
  2. Hire a team of foremost experts to begin training programs within the organization.
  3. Start a media wide outreach educational program to combat domestic violence.
  4. Make large contributions to organizations that actively work to reduce domestic violence and child abuse.

As for Mr. Peterson, he needs to do more than issue a statement and run a good game. Let's hope he understands the consequences fully and chooses wisely.


Dear NFL, 

I don't think it is that hard. Your move.

Sincerely, 
A Carefully Watching Fan


P.S. Next you should tackle player head injury reduction, steroid use, and equity pay for your cheerleaders and other support staff.

© By Russell Peterson | DayParentDad.com | 15 September 14
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Child Abuse Resources

NATIONAL NONPROFIT
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
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Once in high school a girl shoved me in the hallway near the gym. I think I was in her way. It was a small hallway and I was used to getting pushed around and called names. I just let it go. A guy next to me said, "Man, why didn't you smack her one?" To which I answered, "My parents taught me that violence was not the answer and a man NEVER hits a woman." The guy said I was crazy and my parents were stupid. I walked away.

This week we learned that Ray Rice punched his then fiance now wife so hard that he knocked her out in an elevator. Many people seem to care what he does for a living. I do not. There is no rational argument that says it is ever okay for a man to hit a woman in an elevator because they are having an argument. If an employee of mine did that. I would fire them. If I were a prosecutor, I'd put him on trial for abuse and send him to jail.

Let me be very clear to my daughters and all the other young women and men out there. There is no argument ever that says it is okay for another person to physically abuse you in any way. If it happens, you go straight to the police and file charges. Period.

By Russell Peterson | DayParentDad.com | 8 September 14
Contacts For Help
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233
1-800-799-SAFE

Child Help
1-800-422-4453
1-800-4-A-CHILD
Additional Help
Abuser Tricks Guide
Abusers can be quite manipulative. Click on the link above to find a quick guide to test your situation.

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Protect your children by teaching them well.
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National Domestic Violence Hotline | TheHotline.org


 
 
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The last bag to leave the house.
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Winnie, one of our two cats, came sitting at the corner once the last bag was gone.
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Siskel, one of our two Aussies, the moment after she left.
By Russell Peterson | DayParentDad.com | 2 September 2014

I did squeeze. Hard. I couldn't let go. No words. I tried. Thoughts: I love you. I'm here always. You can call anytime. For anything. Always. All I want to not say is good...

I'm not sure when the animals knew. I think Siskel realized first. He is the only other male in the house. Leave it to the two guys to be the emotional wrecks. He walks around with his head down knowing things have changed. Our other Australian Shepherd, Hooray, has taken to begging as though every piece of food in the house is part of her Last Supper. Perhaps that's why I've eaten half a cake in the last two days.

Winnie, the fluffy cat, will not really leave my other daughter's side or at least her bedroom. She comes out for occasional snacks and a peak around the kitchen cabinet corner to peer at the back door. She expects her to walk through any moment. I do too.

Right now a depressed black cat is sitting on the window ledge next to my table. Her tail draped long down the wall and her head stretched out in sadness over one paw on the wood sill. Her existence consists of either the depressed ledge, sitting at the bistro table waiting for her return, or pooping in front of the family room fireplace. She is kitty messaging. I hear you Flicka. I just can't change it.

When my two daughters were very young, I would walk them out to the bus stop helping them to carry either their 700 pound back packs filled with state mandated educational materials or their brown paper artwork lunch bags I had carefully crafted into the next Matisse. Sometimes both. We would stand at the end of the cul-de-sac and chat or be present in silence until the bus stopped a block away. Then I would lift their heavy burdens onto their shoulders and give them my impressive fatherly guidance: "Have fun. Do good work. And Pinch Your Teacher."

No matter what you do, you should enjoy it. That goes for college. It won't be easy. The best things never are. But have fun. Not too much. Just enough. (That was a joke.) I am positive you will do good work. You always do, especially for the things you love to do. Isn't that true for most of us? Pinching your teacher is a no-no. We all know it, but challenging them is something a student should do just as a child teaches a parent. Hearing, really deep hearing is essential.

As you drive
Away
Fly my little one.

Be true self
Distinct
Empathize caring.

Imagine
You thrive
Opportune moment.

Paint broad depth
Life's time
Colorful nature.

Fragile soul
Warmest
Nature shines on sleeve.

Home remains
Far and
Close and alluring.

I await
Return
Distance no trespass.
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I sit here on this first day of my baby's college classes sipping my coffee; enjoying it a little less and yet a little more...bye.