Editorial: Vikings get it right, but create a PR mess
After the Minnesota Vikings played so poorly Sunday on the field, it was no wonder the team's leadership performed so poorly Monday in making its infamous decision to reinstate running back Adrian Peterson.
After the Minnesota Vikings played so poorly Sunday on the field, it was no wonder the team’s leadership performed so poorly Monday in making its infamous decision to reinstate running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson had been indicted Sept. 12 in Texas on child abuse charges. The Vikings quickly deactivated the running back for Sunday’s game. Then the team quickly reinstated him Monday.
The public and media criticism became a public relations firestorm by late Monday, followed by marketing defections on Tuesday. Then Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said late Tuesday that the Vikings made a mistake
The Vikings then announced a reversa at 12:47 a.m. Wednesday, saying that Peterson was suspended indefinitely until his legal issues are resolved.
The Vikings finally “got it right” in placing the running back on the National Football League’s exempt list and barring him from the team facilities until this criminal case is resolved.
Vikings’ co-owner Zygi Wilf simply said Wednesday, “We made a mistake.”
In pulling their reinstatement-unreinstatement play, Vikings’ ownership and management ultimately created a PR nightmare for the team as well as Peterson. First, the team should not have been in a hurry Monday to resolve Peterson’s status. Secondly, the team should have been more cautious, especially in the current NFL climate due to numerous domestic violence cases involving players.
Peterson deserves credit for accepting the voluntary suspension, which will allow him time to reflect upon his parenting and resolve his criminal case. It also eliminates the distraction for the team and his teammates, which was becoming worse by the hour.
While the Vikings deserve credit for finally getting it right Wednesday, its ownership and leadership team deserve equal criticism for making the Peterson situation worse Monday by creating a public relations disaster.
It will take some time for the team to recover from this public relations disaster.