Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson played in his team’s NFL game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday only days after his 2-year-old son was allegedly killed by Joseph Patterson, the purported boyfriend of the child’s mother.
ESPN reported the 28-year-old star explained why he played via a text message to Fox Sports: “My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week,” Peterson wrote. “You may ask why? God wants good to come from it ... we mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace.” He added, “I’m still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I’m able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place.”
On Friday, after his son was attacked, Peterson added: “I’m focused and ready to go.”
The boy died in a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., as a result of injuries related to the brutal assault he suffered, police said. His name has not been released out of respect for the family, but the boy’s mother has been identified in media reports as Ashley Ann Doohen, aka Ann “Ashley” Doohen. However, this has not yet been confirmed by law-enforcement officials.
Patterson reportedly had a history of violence.
During interviews, Peterson said he is holding strong and will continue to play football because that is what helps him get through tough times:
“Football is something I will always fall back on,” Peterson told FoxNews.com. “It gets me through tough times. Just being around the guys in here, that’s what I need in my life, guys supporting me. ... Things that I go through, I’ve said a thousand times, it helps me play this game to a different level. I’m able to kind of release a lot of my stress through this sport, so that’s what I plan on doing.”