Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton took a strong stance against the Minnesota Vikings and embattled running back Adrian Peterson on Tuesday.
According to a local NBC affiliate in Minneapolis, Dayton indicated that Peterson should be suspended and called his actions a “public embarrassment.”
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.
He’s the first state-wide politician to come out against the Vikings for reinstating Peterson from the inactive list on Monday. While it remains to be seen whether this will have an impact on the organization’s decision to play Peterson against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, it could very well lead to a public backlash.
NFL teams attempt to build strong ties with politicians who hold power in the state. This makes things move forward at an easier pace when it comes to the organization getting stuff done off the field.
This comes on the heels of the hotel chain Radisson suspending its partnership with the Vikings.
Once the Vikings start to feel that their economic bottom line is impacted by supporting Peterson, that’s when we might see the organization take a stand and suspend him.