Tedy Bruschi on Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson: “They failed”


While almost everyone else around the NFL is rambling incoherently about “due process”, “culture”, and “intent”, Patriots Hall of Fame linebacker and ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi approached the issue of Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson the same way he approached opposing quarterbacks: with deliberate force.

After the Vikings swiftly deactivated Peterson prior to last week’s showdown with the Patriots, they reactivated the 2012 MVP a mere three days (!) later, and Bruschi didn’t hold back when asked for his assessment on WEEI’s Dale and Holley Show.

“The reinstatement, that can’t happen. That can’t happen,” Bruschi stated. “The words ‘due process’, I’m really getting tired of hearing those words from powerful people in terms of, you’re making the decisions. It’s your organization. It’s your team. You own a team. It’s yours. The owners are using, or whoever it may be, you’re using due process as something to hide behind, something to hide behind where you don’t say, ‘This is what I believe in, and I don’t care what’s going on. This is the action I’m going to take.”

That’s a strong enough statement of disgust in and of itself, but Bruschi went on to spell out what a lot of people are thinking about a couple select NFL owners.

“It seems like they’re afraid to state what they believe. That’s sort of a shame because we’re dealing with some pretty sensitive issues here with child abuse and domestic violence. The fact that one owner, you won’t take the lead. You won’t take the lead and do something. I know what happened to (Baltimore Ravens running back) Ray Rice and how he was basically cut from the Ravens. The words due process, it’s really such a cop-out to me in how they’re using it and how cowardly they’ve been using those two words.”

After laying into NFL owners that use “due process” as an excuse for keeping a player that’s currently facing charges on the field (or, in Greg Hardy’s case, has already been convicted), Tedy went on to address what he sees as a potential cause for the recent rash of high-profile criminal cases in the NFL.

“There’s no accountability. There’s no accountability for some of these guys. They’re sending a message that athletes are entitled. They’re special. There’s special treatment for the exceptional athlete, because if Adrian Peterson wasn’t a former MVP and the best running back in the league, he’s gone. Believe that. Believe that. So, I don’t know what kind of message they’re trying to send in Minnesota, in Carolina, in San Francisco. I just wish they’d go, ‘This is what I believe in. This is wrong. This is the action that I’m taking.”

And finally, Bruschi brings assessment around to Adrian Peterson’s current situation and the Vikings in particular.

“I’ve read what you’ve read, guys. The 14 to 15 strikes to a 4-year-old boy?” he said. “A 4-year-old boy…the size of a 4-year-old child compared to the size of Adrian Peterson and the strikes with a stick, with a switch, with a whip, whatever you want to call it. It sickens me. It sickens me.”

“I’m even more upset that he’s already back,” Bruschi concluded. “The message was sent. The statement’s out. It looks like the Vikings are all good with it. He’s back with the team and it looks like he might play (next week). You can’t change what happened, but going forward, their opportunity to make a difference and to send a message to all athletes, they dropped the ball. They failed.”