Adrian Peterson still feels Roger Goodell's suspension of him wasn't fair

Adrian Peterson (AP)
Adrian Peterson (AP)

About two years after his child-abuse case, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson still doesn’t agree with his year-long NFL suspension.

Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault in the 2014 case regarding injuries suffered by his son, who was 4 years old at the time, when Peterson disciplined him with a switch. He was suspended after the Vikings’ first game in 2014 and didn’t play again until 2015. He returned to lead the NFL in rushing.

He said during a long interview on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” that he didn’t feel NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s punishment was fair.

“No, not really,” Peterson said in the interview, which will air in full this weekend on Bensigner’s syndicated show. “I missed an entire season, you know? I was judged before I was actually judged, you know? But I’ll accept it because it didn’t break me. It made me a stronger person, a smarter, more wiser individual.”

Peterson said he felt “politics” played into the long suspension. He also said the controversy surrounding the NFL’s light punishment of then-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice played a role in his long suspension.

“It definitely had a lot to do with it. A lot to do with it,” Peterson said. “I could go into depth about it, but I don’t even want to go there. But it played a role. But I understand that. I get it. I understand that it’s bigger than Adrian Peterson. It’s politics.”

Peterson has talked about his upbringing and the discipline he received, and he told Bensinger about getting hit with a switch and even the time his dad hit him with a belt in front of his friends. And he still has no problem with that.

“I often think back on the times where discipline had come into play and how I felt about it then and as I got older, I was able to look back and see how it affected different decisions I made throughout my life and how it shaped me to be more of a stand-up guy and do the right things,” Peterson told Bensinger. “So when I look back on it — I’m for sure, like I know — that the discipline that I received helped me become the person that I am today.”

Peterson apologized two years ago for harming his son but has mostly defended the discipline he experienced when he was a child.

Bensinger asked Peterson what he has learned most since the incident with his son.

“Just not to be judgmental towards people because after going through it,” Peterson said. “Seeing other people going through different situations as well, just like, man, you should really find out the details before you sit there and start persecuting people and judging people. That was the biggest thing I took from it: Don’t be judgmental, Just leave it up to one person to judge.”

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!