“It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear about what happened to this child,” Franken, the Democratic Senator from Minnesota, said. “I’m a diehard Vikings fan and watching the games on Sundays has been one of my favorite things to do since I was a kid.
“But this is just wrong and I think the Vikings make the wrong decision here [to allow Peterson, one of the league’s biggest stars, to play]. This is in the hands of law enforcement now and it must go through the judicial process, but I don’t believe Adrian Peterson should be allowed to play until that happens.
“A lot of kids look up to these players and it’s not okay for the Vikings to send the signal that what happened is acceptable. This is bigger than a football game.”
Earlier Tuesday, Dayton said:
“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,” Dayton said (via KARE 11). “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.”
Later Tuesday afternoon, Nike removed its Peterson merchandise from its stores, the Associated Press reported and Radisson pulled its local sponsorship of the Vikings.