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On Second Thought, Vikings Put Adrian Peterson On Exempt List

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The National Football League's Minnesota Vikings will be without their best player for the foreseeable future. Early this morning the Vikings announced that star running back Adrian Peterson will be removed from the team until his legal problems are resolved. Peterson was indicted last Friday on a child abuse charge, after an incident earlier this year when he whipped his four-year-old son with a switch.

Today's announcement came two days after the Vikings gave Peterson the go-ahead to practice and play with the team. And soon after today's Vikings announcement the Carolina Panthers removed one of their players who's convicted of domestic abuse. NPR's Tom Goldman has more.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: This morning Minnesota Vikings owner's Mark and Zygi Wilf made their first public appearance since the Adrian Peterson story broke last week. This was the message from Zygi Wilf delivered several times during their press conference.

ZYGI WILF: We made a mistake. And we needed to get this right.

GOLDMAN: First, the getting this right part. The team plays Peterson on the exempt commissioners permission list. It's used rarely for players having serious legal troubles off the field. It requires the player to stay away from all team activities while he goes through the legal process. Players have to agree to be placed on the list, which Peterson has. And the NFL commissioner has to sign off, which Roger Goodell did. Here's Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.

RICK SPIELMAN: We came up with what we thought was the best resolution for everybody.

GOLDMAN: Now, the we-made-a-mistake part. Today's announcement came after the Vikings flip-flopped on Petersons' status. First the team benched him last Friday after he was indicted. Then two days ago Minnesota reinstated Peterson - the mistake that caused a public outcry, including the loss of at least one sponsor.

The press conference was held in front of a purple Vikings banner that up until this week carried the name of Radisson Hotels. But the name was gone today, Radisson has suspended its support. Mark Wilf was asked if today's announcement was, in fact, a financial decision.

WILF: Absolutely not.

GOLDMAN: Wilf also was asked how the team made the mistakes it did.

WILF: I don't want to Monday-morning-quarterback what it was. The main thing is that we constantly strive as an organization to do the right thing.

GOLDMAN: There are those, however, who want to understand why the team and the league have been lurching through the current crisis. The Wilfs' admission echoes what Commissioner Goodell said late last month about his two- game suspension of former Baltimore running back Ray Rice. For Rice's assault on his then fiancee - I didn't get it right, Goodell said.

Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers today resolved their troublesome situation, for the moment. Defensive lineman Greg Hardy, who has appealed his domestic abuse conviction, also chose to be put on the exempt list. Repeating the phrase of the moment of the NFL, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said our overriding goal is to do the right thing. Tom Goldman, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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