Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson, facing suspension from the National Football League for the rest of the season after being charged with beating his son, said on Saturday he was considering retirement from professional football.
Peterson, who said he may attempt to compete in track in the Olympics if he retires, discussed his future in an interview with ESPN after an arbitrator denied Peterson’s appeal of his suspension until at least April for violating league policy.
Peterson’s suspension by the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stems from his arrest in September for disciplining his four-year-old son with a switch.
Peterson told ESPN reporter Ben Goessling that he would file a lawsuit against the NFL and, if the suit jeopardizes his reinstatement, he may retire.
“I love playing football, don’t get me wrong, but this situation is deeper than that. For me, it’s like, ‘Why should I continue to be a part of an organization or a business that handles players the way they do?'” he told ESPN.
Peterson, 29, pleaded no contest on Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault of his son, allowing him to avoid a felony child-abuse conviction. Afterward, the NFL suspended him.
Arbitrator Harold Henderson said in his ruling that the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player “has not demonstrated that the process and procedures surrounding his discipline were not fair and consistent.”
In addition to retiring, Peterson said he has considered competing in the 200- and 400-meter dashes in the summer Olympic Games, the ESPN piece said.
It is not the first time Peterson, considered one of the fastest running backs in the league, has talked about competing in the quadrennial summer games. During an interview with sports journalist Graham Bensigner in 2012, Peterson said his goal was to compete in the 2016 Olympics.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee, editing by Frank McGurty)