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Vikings Backpedal on Adrian Peterson, Suspend Him Indefinitely With Pay

Facing increasing backlash from fans and sponsors alike, the Minnesota Vikings have walked back their decision earlier this week to start running back Adrian Peterson, who is under indictment for felony child abuse in Texas. Overnight the decision was made to suspend him indefinitely with pay, pending the adjudication of the legal case against him.

Technically, Peterson has been played on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, which has always existed, but most of us are hearing about now for the first time. The move allows the Vikings an out after announcing on Monday Peterson would be back in the lineup—they are able to keep Peterson at a distance indefinitely without facing a fight from the NFL Player’s Association.

Though some may argue a paid vacation is a little generous, given the circumstances, it’s important to keep in mind that neither the NFL nor the Vikings are responsible for punishing Peterson for criminal activity. Right now getting distance between Peterson and his situation was the most important thing—this action is the only that allows for that immediately and avoids a prolonged fight with the NFLPA.

Given the other ongoing sagas with Ray Rice and Greg Hardy, the NFL is desperate to quell the avalanche of bad publicity, but the Vikings were hit were it really counts in the last two days—the wallet. On Tuesday the Minnesota-based Radisson hotel chain announced it was breaking ties with the organization.

Not long after Anheuser-Busch, which has a six-year sponsorship deal with the NFL worth $1.2 billion, expressed their dissatisfaction with the situation publicly. That is what finally spurred action, as the Vikings’ decision was made after discussing it with the league, following Anheuser-Busch’s statements.

Now all eyes are on the Carolina Panthers, who have been followers to this point in dealing with Greg Hardy, who was found guilty in a horrific case of domestic abuse in July by a judge, but is currently in the process of appealing that conviction.

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