Children's advocates react to Adrian Peterson activation against Saints

The Minnesota Vikings say after significant thought, discussion and consideration, they have reactivated star running back Adrian Peterson for their game against the Saints on Sunday.

Peterson was forced to sit out Sunday's game after an indictment alleging child abuse against his 4-year-old son. But now the team says he's back as the case winds its way though the legal system.

"That's terrible. That shouldn't happen. He should be out of sports forever," said Jason Overstreet, a football fan we spoke with on Poydras Street.

Peterson was suspended last Friday after being indicted Sept. 12 for child abuse in Montgomery County, Texas. He admitted to whipping his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, similar to the way he says he was whipped by his own father.

"Obviously parents are entitled to discipline their children unless it exceeds what a community says is reasonable," said Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Phil Grant.

Sources say the boy was whipped so severely that marks were visible on the back of his legs.

"I don't think it's okay for anybody," said football fan Danielle Dufour.

There's been a lot of talk about using cases like these as teaching moments, and children's advocates hope parents are listening.

"We do not know what Peterson's child has struggled with - they're all allegations - but we do have many Jefferson Parish children struggling with abuse in their homes," said Emily Remington with the Court-Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, program of Jefferson Parish.

CASA Has acted on behalf of 355 child abuse or neglect victims in the past year in Jefferson Parish alone. Remington said in most cases, like Peterson, allegedly abusive parents are allowed to return to work while they undergo treatment.

"Most of the time, employers never know their employees have been accused of these crimes," Remington said.

While CASA deals with a shortage of volunteers to help child victims, some worry about the impact of the Peterson case.

"Those are public figures that little children look up to. They shouldn't be allowed to get away with everything," said Overstreet.

Peterson makes a first court appearance Wednesday in Texas.

As Peterson prepares for that, and the Saints on Sunday, he issued a statement saying he was sorry for the hurt he brought to his child, saying he never intended to harm his son.

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