The Radisson hotel chain is suspending its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after star running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse in Texas, the Associated Press reports.
The Minnetonka-based company issued a brief statement Monday night:
"Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children. We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."
Radisson's sponsorship includes a banner that hangs behind the podium at Vikings news conferences.
Peterson is accused of using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. The beating left marks and welts on the boy's body that were still visible several days later. Peterson says he was using a form of discipline his father used on him as a boy.
Peterson issued a statement Monday saying he loves his son and he is "not a child abuser." The team's general manager Rick Spielman, shown in the photo at top, announced Monday Peterson was reactivated and was expected to play in the Vikings' next game on Sunday in New Orleans.
But late Monday afternoon, reports surfaced from Houston that Peterson had been investigated for another incident in 2013, when he was disciplining another young son and the boy received injuries to his face. Officials did not file charges in that case. It was after that incident came to light that Radisson made its announcement.
"Based on our long-standing relationship, the Minnesota Vikings respectfully honored Radisson's request," a team spokesman said in an email Monday night.
Some are speculating that other Viking team sponsors will follow suit, but none has announced that action as yet.
Peterson himself has sponsorship deals with Nike and Castrol, and both companies said Monday they are continuing to monitor the situation, according to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.
Peterson's image was featured on Wheaties cereal boxes for the past several months, but their production stopped in April, the Business Journal reports.
One area business analyst told KSTP the Peterson story has already cost the Vikings organization. David Vang, a finance professor at the University of St. Thomas, estimates the team will likely lose $200,000 just this week.
"If you just add up the average attorney's fee to see about ramifications for them, plus any promotional materials with A.P.'s image on them that are going to be shelved or redone to be more generic, and then on top of that the jersey or apparel sales that will probably fall," he said.
Vang also noted that the NFL is trying to attract more women to its fan base, but the child abuse allegations against Peterson may turn off some female fans, according to KSTP.