Peterson is not the problem

It’s remarkable that All Day is being lambasted by the very media that so often laments the fact that most black fathers pay no attention to their children, and in particular, their sons. Apparently it is much better for fathers to simply ignore their children and allow them to grow up feral than risk a single occasion of disciplining them too firmly.

Is this really the paternal incentive structure that makes any sense for society?

Peterson has been largely unapologetic and rightly so.  Yes, his four year old son was young, but he also has the same genetics that render his father an athletic freak of nature and it would not be at all surprising if the boy was similarly strong-minded as well. I tend to doubt that any son of Adrian Peterson is going to be much impressed by a single hand applied once or twice to his backside. Peterson may not the best father in the world, but he is clearly attempting to be a father to his various bastards and to raise them more or less correctly.

The problem America faces is not an excess of discipline, but rather, the exact opposite. It reminds me of the way in which the media obsessively worries about anorexia in a nation rife with obesity. Fathers like Peterson, who apply the rod more vigorously than some people would prefer, are part of the solution, not the problem, even if they go too far on occasion. Sparing the rod is straightforward parental negligence, far more damaging to a child in the end than any bruised backside.

If the NFL was genuinely concerned about the welfare of its players’ children, it would suspend the players who have no contact with their children, not those who discipline them harshly.