Adrian Peterson has been reinstated into the NFL, but that didn’t stop commissioner Roger Goodell from sending a letter to the embattled running back, essentially advising him on how to be parent.
Tiki Barber took offense to this.
“I think he’s right in saying some of the things that he needs to say to Adrian Peterson,” Barber said on CBS Sports Radio. “That you absolutely have to avoid further misconduct. You have to be compliant with the rules that were handed down by the state of Minnesota and the state of Texas.”
That’s all well and good. But the parenting advice? Not so much.
“He’s basically trying to tell Adrian Peterson how to be a parent, and it strikes me because it feels like he’s opening a Pandora’s box,” Barber said. “I understand this is only on his desk because Adrian Peterson got in trouble. But there are so many horrible parents in the NFL. Are you now going to police the parenting of the players? He went too far in this letter is all I’m saying. Adrian Peterson knows what he did. He’s paid the repercussions. He missed an entire season, lost countless millions of dollars in endorsements and his reputation has been besmirched. But here you are telling him how to be a parent.”
Brandon Tierney, however, feels this was a calculated move by Goodell. It was about image. It was about PR. Some people will read this letter, which is readily available online, and commend Goodell for taking a stand to clean up the NFL.
“But you’re not Adrian Peterson’s father,” Barber said. “You’re not even his boss per se. Some things are best left unsaid. This is one of those. If you’re going to say this to Adrian Peterson, what are you saying to all these other guys who are just bad dads? They’re not in legal trouble, but . . .”
Still, Tierney doesn’t have an issue with the letter. He sees it as yet another way to document the NFL’s position on Peterson’s actions.
“But why put something out there that’s meaningless and not quantifiable?” Barber asked. “Look, I’ve met Adrian Peterson a couple times. I don’t know him really well, but I would never even believe that he’s a bad guy. Now, I know for a fact there are a lot of bad guys in the National Football League. So coming down on a guy like Adrian Peterson, yes, he did something egregious to his son and he legally paid the repercussions. But to come down and actually treat him like (this), I don’t know.
“It just feels weird to me,” Barber continued. “It feels like he’s overstepping. The letter serves its purpose obviously. Don’t get in trouble again legally or you will be suspended or banished from the National Football League. But then to go into this deep, ‘I’m holier-than-thou and I sit on an ivory tower and I can tell you how to be a better parent?’ Shut up.”