Adrian Peterson became toxic. Radisson and Catholic Charities jumped ship, he got dropped by sponsors Castrol and Mylan, got memory-holed by Wheaties, had his gear taken off the shelves at local Nike and Fan HQ stores, even got axed by the Special Olympics, to which he was appointed an "ambassador" just last week. The Vikings did not send Peterson home because they were disgusted at what he's accused of doing to a 4-year-old child, or because the NFL suggested they act with some decency, but because Peterson's presence was bad for the brand.
At exactly 1:52 a.m. EDT, the Vikings placed Peterson on the little-used exempt/commissioner's permission list, which seems to be the only way around certain limitations to other club-issued discipline options. (He can be barred from team facilities, his suspension can last longer than four games, and he can be paid at the team's discretion. That last was the Vikings' choice, and they made it: Peterson will continue to receive his full $691,000-a-week salary.)
"This is the best possible outcome given the circumstances," Peterson's agent said.
"This is a good decision that will allow Adrian Peterson to resolve his personal situation and the Vikings to return the focus to the football field," the NFL said.
"[W]e have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian," the Vikings said.
That's a remarkable about-face from Monday, when, at a bizarre press conference, GM Rick Spielman declared that, "We feel strongly as an organization this is disciplining a child." Which was an unbelievable thing to say, but what were the Vikings doing shoving their GM out to address an issue like this at a time like this? Where were the owners? (The Wilfs will reportedly hold a press conference later today. Will they announce they've changed their minds again and Peterson will play this weekend? Who the hell knows with this team?)
For that matter: where the fuck is Roger Goodell?
The NFL is in crisis, and the commissioner has not been seen or heard from in more than a week, not since he gave CBS News an interview last Tuesday afternoon in which he flatly declared that the NFL has a problem and that he's going to do better.
O'Donnell: Do you feel like your job is on the line?
Goodell: No, I'm used to criticism. I'm used to that. Every day, I have to earn my stripes. Every day, I have to, to do a better job. And that's my responsibility to the game, to the NFL, and to what I see as society.
So: where is Roger Goodell?
For fuck's sake. Keep up the hard work, Rog.