NFL bares its soul for second time in a week after 'child abuse' allegations

Following shocking allegations that star running-back Adrian Peterson had reportedly beaten his naked four-year-old son with a tree branch causing multiple wounds, American football analyst Cris Carter passionately condemned the use of physical punishment against children.

Peterson was suspended for one game by his Minnesota Vikings team following the claims, less than a week after Baltimore Ravens running-back Ray Rice was sacked after a video emerged of him savagely knocking his fiancée unconscious.

The league's lax handling of that incident was severely criticised and also brought an impassioned response from CBS anchor James Brown, decrying the NFL's “deafening and deadly” silence about domestic violence.

Adrian Peterson (Picture: Getty)

A new debate has raged this weekend, with some defending Peterson's actions - explaining that many parents across the south of the country beat their children as a form of discipline - along with a mantra of 'it did me no harm when I was a kid'.

But Carter, a 'Hall of Fame' player and respected voice in the game, used his slot on Sunday NFL Countdown to debunk this attitude and to call for strong action against those found guilty of excessive discipline.

People believe in disciplining their children... It’s the 21st century. My mum did the best she could do, but my mum was wrong. She did the best she could, but she was wrong about some of that stuff she taught me.

And I promised my kids, I won’t teach that mess to them. You can’t beat a kid to make them do what they wanna do. There are thousands of things we have learned since then.

  • Cris Carter

Peterson turned himself in to police following a grand jury indictment on a felony charge of injury to a child and has admitted he had hit his son because the boy had misbehaved - if sentenced he could face up to two years in jail.

The player broke his silence yesterday afternoon by tweeting a quote from the Bible that appeared to warn against judging other people's actions:

The NFL's response to this case, if Peterson is found guilty, alongside a string of other domestic abuse cases, will now be under increased scrutiny.

According to NFL rules, a player can be suspended with pay by his franchise for a maximum of four games, after which they must decide to either release the player or reinstate him to the team.

The latest reports suggest Peterson's Vikings team may allow him to return this weekend for their game against the New Orleans Saints - Peterson is seen as one of the star players in the league.

More: The whole, shameful story of the NFL's domestic abuse scandal

More: This man had seconds before an NFL game. He used them to speak out

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