When I wrote yesterday about Adrian Peterson being indicted for taking a switch to his son, I had not seen the pictures. The awful pictures. Photos of lash marks and clotted blood. The Minnesota Vikings football player did this to a 4-year-old because the child pushed another Peterson son off a video game.

I had not seen the pictures as I wrote about my own experience with the switch. Still, I could imagine the screaming and begging for relief and the welts that followed. But I wasn’t that young. I was old enough to know what I did was wrong and that consequences would have to be suffered. The injuries sustained by Peterson’s 4-year-old son go far beyond what is called for in response to a tussle over a toy.

I had not seen the pictures as I was writing and Peterson released a statement filled with remorse. “I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser,” he wrote. “I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.” An assertion hard to believe when you see the marks and cuts on those little 4-year-old legs. Or when you recall that the little one told authorities that Peterson pulled his pants down before striking him also on the back, buttocks and scrotum. Or when you know that he also told them that leaves from the switch were put in his mouth by his father.

“My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day,” Peterson said in his statement. The pictures show that he failed miserably.

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