Yesterday, the Vikings lost their first sponsor over their decision to reinstate Adrian Peterson as he faces a charge of child abuse. Today, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has released a statement calling Peterson's actions "a public embarrassment" and calling on the team to suspend him.
Dayton's statement, from KARE 11:
It is an awful situation. Yes, Mr. Peterson is entitled to due process and should be "innocent until proven guilty." However, he is a public figure; and his actions, as described, are a public embarrassment to the Vikings organization and the State of Minnesota. Whipping a child to the extent of visible wounds, as has been alleged, should not be tolerated in our state. Therefore, I believe the team should suspend Mr. Peterson, until the accusations of child abuse have been resolved by the criminal justice system.
However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota – and in Minnesota. This has been the team's only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans.
Here's Dayton, in happier Vikings days: