Was Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson Racially Targeted in Saturday's Arrest?

By now you've heard about Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson getting arrested Saturday morning at a club for allegedly shoving a police officer after being told to leave the club at closing time, but a new version of events has been released by Peterson's high-profile attorney, Rusty Hardin, the same man who represented Roger Clemens in the MLB pitcher's recent perjury trial.

Hardin's statement to the media on Monday suggests that Peterson was actually the victim in the events that unfolded at the Bayou Club Saturday morning. It's not really all that surprising of a stance for him to take, I suppose.

Here is Hardin's statement:

"Adrian Peterson did not resist arrest this past Saturday morning and any suggestion that he pushed, struck or shoved a Houston Police Officer is a total fabrication. He, in fact, was struck at least twice in the face for absolutely no legitimate reason, and when all the evidence is impartially reviewed, it will clearly show Adrian was the victim, not the aggressor."

"We have been investigating what happened since Saturday afternoon, and it is absolutely clear to me that the charges should not have been filed, and the Bayou Club owes Adrian an apology for having put out a totally false version of what happened. Adrian Peterson does not act the way he has been described in the initial reports, and he did not act that way Saturday morning. He was only in that club for 30 to 40 minutes, was never objectionable to other patrons, and never physically resisted any police officer. Adrian is extremely upset about these false allegations. These charges are totally at odds with the way he has conducted himself throughout his career, and he asks that his fans and the public at large reserve judgment until they hear all the facts. Adrian looks forward to his day in court."

[caption id="attachment_242" align="aligncenter" width="315" caption="Peterson's Mugshot"][/caption]

Peterson's father, Nelson Peterson, also believes in his son's innocence in the incident. "Adrian has a high regard for people in the military and the officers that help protect us," he told TwinCities.com. "He's the kind of guy who's tried to do the right things in society and he cares about being a high-character guy." He continued, "He has a 9-year old daughter, so he doesn't want her hearing in the news about how he's being perceived."

Peterson otherwise has no history of aggression or violence that we know of, and apparently the Houston Police Department has a less than favorable reputation when it comes to profiling African American athletes.

It is possible that Adrian was just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, especially when you consider that he has never done anything like this in the past. He's considered about as squeaky-clean as they come. The Bayou Club may have wanted to sensationalize this story to get their name out there and make a quick buck selling their version of events to TMZ.

Either way, it will be interesting to hear the details as more come out. Personally, I am not one to pass judgment too quickly, and would hate to classify an athlete like Adrian Peterson as just another drunken rowdy mess when that very well may not be the case.


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