Mike Ditka says the NFL was wrong for suspending Adrian Peterson for the rest of the season after his plea deal in a child abuse case involving his four-year-old son.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said the Vikings running back would not be considered for re-instatement until April 15 for “violating the NFL personal conduct policy.”
“The commissioner is out of line,” Ditka told the Chicago Sun-Times. “What [Peterson] did was discipline his kid. Did he do it the right way? No. Maybe he thought he did. But I’m not privy to that. But I know one thing, if you are a parent in this world today and you don’t discipline your child when they’re growing up, they’ll probably grow up to be bad people. That’s all I’m going to tell you.
Peterson pleaded no contest on Nov. 4 to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge for hitting his son with a wooden switch.
Asked how the league should have handled it, Ditka responded:
“I think the commissioner should have re-instated him. First of all, it’s not about finances, it’s not about getting paid. What it’s about is his self-respect, dignity and honor. Maybe he did screw up but, my god, who hasn’t screwed up. There are a lot of guys doing a lot more stupid things in the league today than what he did.
“I’m all for giving a guy a second chance if he deserves it. I think he deserves one. He’s never been in trouble in his life.”
The NFL Players Association plans to appeal the NFL’s decision on behalf of Peterson.