Minn. governor: Vikings should suspend Peterson

Support for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson doesn't extend to the governor's office.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued the following statement on Tuesday, one day after the Vikings announced that Peterson was expected to play this weekend against the Saints:

"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. 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.

However, I will not turn my back on the Vikings and their fans, as some have suggested. The Vikings belong to Minnesota -- and in Minnesota. This has been the team's only home; and our citizens, including myself, have been its most dedicated fans."

Peterson was indicted Friday on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child before sitting out Sunday's loss to the Patriots.

UPDATE: Minnesota Sen. Al Franken later released the following statement in regard to Peterson:

"It was absolutely heartbreaking to hear about what happened to this child," said Sen. Franken. "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 made the wrong decision here. 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 ok for the Vikings to send the signal that what happened is acceptable. This is bigger than a football game."

UPDATE: Early Wednesday, the Vikings announced that they have placed Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, which requires Peterson to remain away from all team activities until he resolves his legal situation.

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