Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says NFL running back Adrian Peterson should have been suspended by the team "until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system."
Peterson was indicted and charged in Texas this week with beating his 4-year-old son with a switch. He turned himself in to authorities last Saturday, and the team deactivated Peterson for last Sunday's game versus the New England Patriots.
On Monday, the Vikings announced that Peterson would practice and play with the team on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. The team released a statement supporting Peterson, adding, "We should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action."
On Tuesday, Dayton gave a statement to KARE 11 calling Peterson's actions "a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota."
Here is the governor's full statement:
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.
However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota – and in Minnesota. This has been the team's only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.