In an exclusive interview with USA Today Sports, embattled Vikings star Adrian Peterson discussed topics ranging from football to family. Peterson discussed reconnecting with the son he admitted to switching, his remorse over the incident, and his professional future in a purple jersey.
Sportswriter Tom Pelissero, who has covered the Vikings and now is an NFL writer for the daily publication, conducted the 90-minute telephone interview with the running back. It was the first time Peterson has spoken at length since he was charged in Texas with reckless endangerment of a child.
Peterson said he is pursuing an appeal to return to the field– it was officially filed Thursday – but he questions if he will ever return to the Vikings.
"Maybe it's best for me to get a fresh start somewhere else," he told USA Today at one point.
He noted the extensive sponsor and fan backlash after he was indicted in connection with the switching incident that left his four-year-old son with marks on the lower part of his body.
While Peterson said head coach Mike Zimmer and a number of Vikings players have expressed their support, he questions whether he could resume play for the team, due to how corporal punishment is regarded in the north – different from his hometown of Texas, a cultural difference of which he is "acutely aware," the story says.
"I got paddled at school," Peterson said. "People up north don't know anything about that."
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Meanwhile, Peterson revealed he has sought therapy in connection with his approach to disciplining his six children and vowed that he would never again use a switch in his interactions with them. He also indicated that he recently spoke to the son he admitted switching after being out-of-touch for months.
Peterson said that he hopes to see the boy in the coming weeks.
The NFL suspended the Minnesota Vikings' star running back Tuesday for at least the rest of the 2014 season after his no-contest plea to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge.
"I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there," Peterson told USA Today. "But if there's word out that hey, they might release me, then so be it."