Vikings Ownership Explains Why They Suspended Adrian Peterson

Peterson was deactivated, then reinstated, now suspended indefinitely because of child abuse charges.
18:22 | 09/17/14

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Transcript for Vikings Ownership Explains Why They Suspended Adrian Peterson
We have decided that the appropriate. Course of action for the organization. And for Adrian. Is to put them on be exempt list. Until the legal proceedings are complete. We made a mistake. And we needed to get this right. Vikings ownership there are saying sorry and reversing course just a day. After saying Adrian Peterson would be back on the field this Sunday in Minnesota. Now barred their star running back from team activities this as Peterson faces felony charges. For using -- -- switch to discipline his four year old son. Hello I'm Michelle Franzen in New York the furor over the Peterson case coming so soon. After the indefinite suspension of ravens running back Ray Rice for the hitting of his then fiancee and now wife. All gathering steam as the NFL deals with an -- -- storm. Bad behavior bad publicity and nervous corporate partners not -- normal Wednesday media day at the Minnesota Vikings practice facility in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Along with other top officials all on hand to discuss Peterson here's what they said. Good morning everyone. We have given this issue much thought and consideration. Since -- Friday. We have decided that the appropriate course of action for the organization. And for Adrian. -- to put them on be exempt list. Until the legal proceedings are complete. We made a mistake. And we needed to get this right. We embrace our role in the community. And the responsibilities. That go with -- it is important. To always listened to our fans. The community. For our sponsors. Our goal. Is always make the decisions. We feel is right for the Minnesota Vikings. And to be clear. We have a strong. Stance regarding. The team. And focus on his personal situation. We will support Adrian during this legal and personal process. But we firmly believe. This is the right decision. Back. Marketable. Absolutely not. Like my brother just. When my brother just said. -- we value. Our partners are sponsors. The community and especially our fans. And in the end. It really is about getting it right. And that's what we wanted to do here and we made a mistake. And the main thing is we're getting it right. And that's how we came to this decision. I again like I said. We appreciate our fans. Men and women alike. Error -- responses and the community. And we would we hear there and put. But in the end we is ownership -- is a franchise. And we have to make sure. That. And the team was moving in the right direction and we felt. In the end of this was the right decision so we made a mistake and we we are doing the right thing. Well I I think there's a process of this and I think. Our fans. We have great fans -- -- community and I am and I know. I know that in the end if we do the right thing those things will -- place and that's what we aim to do. I'm sorry I'm sorry and and and the back here -- They're -- I'm willing to apologize to the mother and the son in this situation. Again. Our focus. Is to get things right. And we support Adrien and the terms of on the personal level that he has to get his personal life and order and get things right. The Wii is an organization as a franchise. That was our intent here is to make sure this is right and as as was said before -- I want to reiterate. We take very seriously. These type of things especially when we're talking about children. We have a long standing record of being very supportive. Of children and youth and it's something we take very seriously. So we feel if we get this right that those things will take care of itself and we're gonna continue to work -- Yes that his decision was made by Adrian -- -- -- And you guys say the vikings made the decision. So who made the decision. -- today as we work through this issue yesterday. We asked for the except in the -- -- and only the commissioner can grant that exemption. I know we worked very hard with -- congress is representative. And Adrian I spent time with Adrian yesterday. And also I know I believe the union in the NFL also had collaborated on this. But we came up what we thought was the best resolution for everybody. It. Pardon is -- -- you know our focus right now today is to get this right OK and two. You know we admitted making a mistake that we want to get this right it we wanna support Adrian and that's the most important thing right now is to. Support him. Through his legal in his personal matters but we also want to make sure this is the right. That we get this right as of today. -- follow the follow up on one thing the -- two is very important question was asked about. You know who started this is very clear that the Minnesota Vikings are the ones that initiated this process. With the National Football League. In regard to this current situation it was the vikings. What important but the question was asked. In regards to was -- something -- That Asian or the union or whatever but I think it's very important this was a decision made by the vikings -- ownership. And we went to the lead to say this is what we wanted to do and then we came -- with the best mechanism to accomplish that of us are just wanted to make that clear. In the loop -- do you agree with this -- I I I specifically spend time with -- and his representatives yesterday and we felt in Adrian felt that it was best. In his -- I won't speak -- -- but he felt it was best for him to be able to step away. To take care of his legal and personal matters. And I think Levy said in the statement as well that he wants us to our coaches and our players available focus on football as he takes care these personal matters. Says he's -- Peterson there will not be a trial -- 2015 is it safe to say he's not playing his. Say -- at -- don't know that as of today I don't know the legal proceedings yet and when the trials are in all that stuff. That's where it is scheduled today so under the assumption. What we said in our statement. Is that until these legal matters are. Resolved that the that he who we remain on this exemption list -- -- yes. Between those three days to think about it take a deep breath of the weekend. It was -- -- -- can reinstate how did you get it wrong. Well. I know that again -- error. Our fans and and and and people at that that know us we want to make it we want to make sure it's right and that's important thing here fingers. Well I don't I don't want -- Monday Morning Quarterback what it was the main thing is we constantly strive as an organization to do the right thing. And and it's a fluid situation here. And it's an ongoing process so we're constantly talking and thinking about these things and -- we realize there's a lot of interest groups in this. Especially people related to the vikings like I said our fans in the community and and the sponsors so in the end. The goal is always for us to be a first class organization. And to get it right and we feel we've done so there's there's a question there are some things -- right. -- civilian employees represented him Peterson and his legal process -- to make it very clear major -- lawyer is Rusty Hardin. -- Houston Texas we have the vikings will monitor the legal situation. From from afar. But his personal lawyers Rusty Hardin -- a at a Houston Texas. -- -- released. That we decided. -- let -- like I said and a lot of people discussing this working through it. And Rick and speak as well to it talking to a lot a lot of interest -- parties in this. So but we felt once we got it right to get it out when we got it right and that's when we got it right. And of course listening to mark welfare co owner and chairman of the Minnesota Vikings earlier hearing from his brother. Ziggy will Hussein that they offered an apology they and they want to get it right I'm joined now by ABC news correspondent in legal analyst Brian Smith. Ryan give -- translation for us Peterson have been placed on the NFL's exempt list which means he suspended from taking part in team activities. How does he get off the list and what he still technically. Be allowed to be paid. Well the first thing as the team decides whether or not he -- get paid or not and they have decided to pay him. How -- gets off that list. Is to resolve his legal issues. -- mean a lot of things that can mean as prosecutors said this trial would take place next year and -- -- trial is over and there's a conviction or an acquittal. Then he would be able to petition to get back on the team. But if they come to some sort of agreement -- -- to change this could be resolved a lot sooner and he could be back on the field this season. I want to read something from the NFL players union they released this statement today it reads in part quote. Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay. To take care of his personal and legal issues we support this decision and hope the best for him and his family. Ryan first of all lot of very careful language there are also listening from this press conference it doesn't seem like everyone is on the same page here. What's wrong. You got that right no one's on the same page -- what I read -- Adrian Peterson made the choice. From what the viking said it's clear we made the choice and then one of the vikings representatives even contradicted -- said the commissioner made the choice. So it's very confusing and I think one problem I have -- this press conference actually to. One is the constant repeating of the mantra we wanted to get it right doesn't mean you're getting it right by mentioning that you're not going to talk to. Suppose a victim in all of this but instead you're just sort of focused on what's going on with the team. And it's still reactionary it comes after sponsors had spoken -- -- a lot of people still read into this and say you're doing this because of sponsors not because of anything else. Now in terms of who made the decision. I heard the GM -- say it was may be a collaborative process. But when you're gonna give a press conference like this and you gonna talk about the mistakes that you made you all need to be on the same page. When I'm getting in -- -- Every single person seems to think they made the decision but somehow someone has to own up to it and make it clear. And it wasn't quite clear of exactly what they got wrong other than changing course and exempting him but -- -- money the list. That's correct in some ways that the point is is that they yesterday said hey let's welcome him back on the field. We want to give them a chance to play we want to do what's right by him and by the team. Today it's hey we want to do what's right by him and by the team and not let him play so -- getting it right part I think again. And I smoked for but in reality this -- this sounds to a lot of people like money became a factor and therefore we had to react again they're not saying that. Put it this subtext that at all it is what I think is going to be a tough thing to swallow for many Puyallup. Course the owners saying in fact that they we listen to our fans we listen to the community we have relationships with sponsors here in the last 24 hours. Here is some of the ripple effect that's taken place beer maker Anheuser Anheuser-Busch. Saying they were not satisfied with the league's handling of behaviors that quote so clearly. Go against our own company culture and moral code. Then the NFL response we understand. They say we are taking action. So Ryan is it really that simple to have this pressure from the corporate sponsors and does it once again just underlined that there isn't. A clear policy or. Code whether it's with the NFL or the vikings. I think in many ways it is that simple I think. It would be naive to say that the NFL is not concerned about money and not concerned about billion dollar sponsors like Anheuser-Busch so once they started making noise. Everyone had to react in some way now the Minnesota Vikings representatives there made it clear. They were the ones that submitted his claim to believe they're making the point that we decided this it wasn't that the NFL handed down -- -- -- -- get this guy off the field. But they also said the NFL had to approve it so in many ways it seems as if there was some sort of connection here to make a change here now the problem is. What do you do about the other players you've got Greg Hardy who's a player for the Carolina Panthers convicted. Of a domestic violence related situation who was still on the field. You've got Ray Rice who was indefinite and was appealing his indefinite suspension. And -- that gets overturned he'll be back on the field possibly. And you've got other cases of other folks that are that may possibly be pending -- to suspected of domestic violence so they've still got the same problem. What do you do for people who are accused. Not even convicted accused of a crime that involves domestic violence. And are you doing it because sponsors are making noise or are you doing it. Because the could that there isn't there are victims and other people -- here and it's morally and ethically the right thing to do I think the vikings. Are trying to show at least in their mind it's a moral and ethical decision. But you'd be naive to say this didn't relate to sponsors making noise. And we've also heard some more noise today Nike just this hour. Suspending their endorsement deal with Peterson they made this statement to ABC quote Nike in no way condones child abuse or domestic violence. Of any kind and has shared our concerns with the NFL we have suspended our contract with Adrian Peterson. Ryan the combination of all of this is essentially force the team and -- to do something -- to go further now and make sure that they have a solid and uniform policy and play. I think you did and I think what's happening here is you're seeing what happens in the private sector I think a lot of people it may -- analysis in this situation. That if you were on your job. And you were arrested this Accenture company might try to terminate you because they say this -- -- part of our ethical and moral code Anheuser-Busch made the point yesterday in their statement of this is against our company -- it seems like the last one to the party here was the NFL. Waiting for everyone else to make a statement that reacting and saying oh it's it's not part of our -- either. And that's not going to be good for a lot of people so I think. Once all these things started to happen and Adrian Peterson now has lost a few sponsors they said we've got to do -- something to end -- -- a bad publicity and this. Attack on our morality and all of this so where do they go from here the NFL of course has compiled. Domestic violence. Sort of panel now and people in charge of that they say that they're getting in a policy in place but where's the bar sat when it comes to measure mention. Many of these other players who either been convicted and are still on the field and are waiting for their cases to be played out. Well I think this exempt commissioners list was something that was rarely used. And now it's going to be something a little bit more common because I think it's a way for the league and teams to say. We are going to take guys off the field and we get to decide whether or not they get paid or not but at the very least we get them and their publicity and their bad publicity. Out of the -- I think what has to happen here is this week -- to find a way to deal with people who are accused of domestic violence not convicted. Because they've always taken the position with -- the criminal courts run its course. But not everybody does that a lot of companies in the private sector say. -- -- This is not good for my company I've got to put these guys out and let them handle their own stuff and then when they come back and -- that once their process is done. We can then make a decision on whether we welcome them back I think the NFL is slowly catching up to that theory. And I think the -- they are in responding. And and making sure there is some sort of policy to handle these instances the more trouble they're going to see. Brian Smith one thing we do you know it's a very fluid situation still thank you very much indeed -- -- sure thing. And of course you can keep up with all the -- in Peterson and Ray Rice developments in real time by downloading the ABC news happens starring. These stories for exclusive updates on the go for now I'm Michelle Franzen -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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