The Minnesota Vikings have placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, essentially deactivating him, and ordered him to keep away from all team activities until the legal proceedings against him in a child injury case have been resolved.
The statement issued early Wednesday morning is a complete reversal from earlier in the week, when the team said Peterson would continue to practice with the team and play.
“After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian,” the statement signed by team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said.
“We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right,” the two wrote. “At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community.”
The pair went on to say that they “will support Adrian during this legal and personal process.”
While he was deactivated prior to Sunday’s game, the team reinstated him on Monday.
The Vikings and the NFL have since come under heavy pressure from both sponsors and political figures to suspend Peterson. On Tuesday, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said the team should suspend Peterson. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) issued a similar statement.
Anheuser-Busch, a major NFL sponsor, said it was “disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed the NFL season,” likely referring to both the Peterson incident as well as the Ray Rice domestic abuse allegations.
Other sponsors released similar statements.
Peterson’s agent told the Associated Press that being placed on the exempt list was “the best possible outcome given the circumstances.”
“Adrian understands the gravity of the situation and this enables him to take care of his personal situation,” Ben Dogra, told AP. “We fully support Adrian and he looks forward to watching his teammates and coaches being successful during his absence.”
Below is the full text of the statement released by the team early Wednesday:
Eden Prairie, MN (September 17, 2014) – This has been an ongoing and deliberate process since last Friday’s news. In conversations with the NFL over the last two days, the Vikings advised the League of the team’s decision to revisit the situation regarding Adrian Peterson. In response, the League informed the team of the option to place Adrian on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which will require that Adrian remain away from all team activities while allowing him to take care of his personal situation until the legal proceedings are resolved. After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian.
We are always focused on trying to make the right decision as an organization. We embrace our role – and the responsibilities that go with it – as a leader in the community, as a business partner and as an organization that can build bridges with our fans and positively impact this great region. We appreciate and value the input we have received from our fans, our partners and the community.
While we were trying to make a balanced decision yesterday, after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian. We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right. At the same time we want to express our support for Adrian and acknowledge his seven-plus years of outstanding commitment to this organization and this community. Adrian emphasized his desire to avoid further distraction to his teammates and coaches while focusing on his current situation; this resolution accomplishes these objectives as well.
We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process, but we firmly believe and realize this is the right decision. We hope that all of our fans can respect the process that we have gone through to reach this final decision. — Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf