Late last week, the two-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was brutally beaten to death by the boyfriend of the boy’s mother. Naturally an out-pouring of sympathy for the bereaved running back came from all corners of the country in the wake of this most unthinkable tragedy. Some reasonable reactions to the story included: Jesus fucking Christ, he beat a two year old to death? The world is rotten and nothing is fair. I don’t care what would happen to me, if someone beat my baby I would track them down and torture them to death.
None of that sort of thing from the New York Post, however, whose columnist Phil Mushnick, who couldn’t be more appropriately named, saw the tragedy as an opportunity to remind us that Peterson is no saint. Here’s a quick summary of the article in question:
Sure, his baby was murdered, but Peterson drove his car really fast one time and also stayed out late at a bar.
Mushnick is no fool. He saw through this puff piece of a story, the one in which we were all lining up to praise another spoiled, entitled athlete for trying to win our sympathies by having his little baby boy smashed to death by an adult man. NOT ON MY WATCH, said Mushnick, a human-shaped, walking piece of shit, who, again, took the opportunity of a child’s death to compare Peterson to cheaters (both kinds) like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong.
Peterson does some charity work? So what. He also had two minor run-ins with the law, neither of which resulted in any serious jail time. This is a wrong, in Mushnick’s world, that apparently has been corrected for by the death of his child. It’s about right and wrong, you see, the universe balancing things out.
Of course, we all have to operate from are our own set of values, our personal sense of right from wrong. Perhaps, given current standards among NFL players — mostly college men, no less — Peterson qualifies as a man of good character. Still, I’m stuck with what I’ve got. And it’s sickening the NFL’s latest MVP, hours after his son died — allegedly murdered — declared he was “ready to roll,” ready to play football.
Peterson isn’t grieving correctly, you see.
Me? I’d be fighting for breath, my knees weak with grief, demanding to know why, who, how. Then, I suspect, I’d seethe with rage, swearing retribution. I even think I’d take off a day or two from work. Maybe a week.
As if that weren’t enough, let Mushnick also remind you that Peterson is African American, and therefore subhuman and less worthy of sympathy.
The suspect in the beating murder of Peterson’s 2-year-old is the boyfriend of Peterson’s “baby mama” — now the casual, flippant, detestable and common buzz-phrase for absentee, wham-bam fatherhood. The accused, Joseph Patterson, previously was hit with domestic assault and abuse charges. With his resources, how could Peterson, the NFL’s MVP, have allowed his son to remain in such an environment? Did he not know, or not care? Or not care to know? Or not know to care? Peterson couldn’t have provided his son a better life, a longer life? Money can’t buy love, but having signed a $96 million deal, he could not have provided his child — apparently his second from a “baby mama” — a safe home?
But given Peterson’s father did hard time for drug money laundering maybe we’re both stuck with the values in which we were born, raised.
So, to summarize, a man’s father was convicted of a crime many years ago, and then that man went on to father a child with someone he wasn’t married to, so stop it with all the sympathy over the death of his child. He was practically asking for it.