Adrian Peterson's mother: 'Whippings not about abuse, but love'


Adrian Peterson's mother spoke publicly Wednesday for the first time since Peterson was charged with a crime for striking his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch to discipline him.

Bonita Jackson told the Houston Chronicle Peterson is far different than he's being portrayed in the media.

According to the Chronicle, Jackson said both she and his father, Nelson Peterson, who lives in Dallas were "big disciplinarians" with their children as they grew up. In the article, Jackson admits to using her hand, switches and belts to occasionally spank all of her six children to correct their behavior.

"I don't care what anybody says. Most of us disciplined our kids a little more than we meant sometimes," Jackson told the Chronicle. "But we are only trying to prepare them for the real world."

Early Wednesday the Vikings placed Peterson on the exemption list until his legal situation is resolved. The team had reinstated Peterson on Monday, but faced intense public backlash from fans, sponsors and even Gov. Mark Dayton.

After Peterson was indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child last week, he released a statement that said, "Deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives."

Apparently the "whoopings" Peterson received growing up didn't stop with his family though.

Corporal punishment is legal in Texas and Peterson's high school coach, Booker Bowie, told the Daily Mail that he used to beat the star player when he misbehaved.

Bowie said Peterson would get up to three lashes with an 18 inch long wooden paddle that the coach kept in his office as part of what he called "tough love."

Afterwards Bowie claimed Peterson wouldn't cry or complain to his parents, but would simply say "Coach, thank you."

"Adrian understands corporal punishment... it's not intended to hurt anybody, it's to get them going in the right direction. I have never had a problem with parents calling anyone complaining. The way Adrian came up, his parents, his mother was disciplining him. He understands it. It helped his teammates, his classmates. I think that's what he was doing [to his son]."

Those sentiments were echoed by Jackson in her interview with the Chronicle.

"When you whip those you love, it's not about abuse, but love. You want to make them understand what they did wrong."

No matter how the situation turns out, it doesn't look like Peterson will be back in a Vikings uniform any time soon.

He will make his first court appearance on Oct. 8, and a trial isn't likely until 2015 at the earliest, meaning Peterson could be away from the Vikings the rest of the season, or even longer.

Next Up