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Roger Godell has suspended Adrian Peterson for the rest of the year without pay for injuring his 4 year old child while disciplining him with a switch.
From USA Today: NFL suspends Adrian Peterson without pay for at least rest of 2014 season
"Peterson, 29, was indicted Sept. 12 on a felony charge for injuring his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with a switch months earlier. He avoided jail time by pleading no contest Nov. 4 to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault."
While not condoning what Peterson did, it appears that the NFL did not have any policies in place at the time to cover that kind of assault. The players association have called it a "new and arbitrary disciplinary proceeding".
I do not want to go into all the legalities, but rather highlight a James Dobson (Focus on the Family) religious motivated disturbing trend in our society that calls for disciplining a child with a switch...or as some critics have called it, "Bible based baby beating". In Dobson's book, The New Dare to Discipline
, he recommends (page 64) using "switches" and "paddles" to hit children starting at age 15-18 months.
When I read the various reviews of Dobson's book, I was rather surprised how many commentators (parents) were supportive of Dobson's approach.
I don't know what motivated Peterson to use a switch so harshly on his 4 year old child, and to be fair, Dobson doesn't condone injury of a child...just punishment that hurts and causes tears. It's a fine line.
I wonder, however, if Peterson in his defense could claim that his religious freedom was being violated by the NFL. That's of course a stretch.