Why Personal Responsibility is Important

James Becker

October 17, 2014

On September 13th, Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings, was charged with reckless or negligent injury to a child.  As a result of this charge, he was required to submit to a urinalysis to screen for illegal drugs.  He has good attorneys, he gets good advice, he knew the test was coming. However, when Adrian Peterson submitted to the urinalysis exam on Wednesday, October 8th he voluntarily admitted to a lab technician he had “smoked a little weed”.  Mr. Peterson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, later tried to cover it up by saying, it was a joke and to “lighten up”.  Whether he “smoked a little weed” or was just joking, this most recent event underscores the importance of taking these issues seriously and acting responsibly.  In any divorce, child custody or abuse case, these are issues of paramount importance and we see them every day in our Memphis family law practice.

Compounding Mr. Peterson’s difficulties, the NFL has already stated that it expects him to follow its Personal Conduct Policy.  That policy requires that all persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.”   Players, coach’s owners and others must abide by thisrule.  So action by the NFL will be taken even if he is found not guilty. However, in all of this, how is his family responding to not only his bad decisions but also the allegations of him getting banned from the NFL.  Another bad decision and now he risks not only his personal freedom with the underlying abuse charges, but continued employment also – even if he is found not guilty.

Everyone makes a bad decision and everyone has their own way of dealing with the discipline of their children. Who says how and what is wrong?  Family Law is always a tough subject especially when it comes to kids.  It is almost impossible to be involved in family law without discovering that when families get into difficulties, rational thought tends to fly out of the window.  Nonetheless that is not a reason to get out of character and turn to making bad decisions when involves the wellbeing of your child, your career, or you being put into jail.

As lawyers representing individuals in divorces, child custody disputes and employment law matters, we never judge our clients as that is not our role.  However, our clients can either make our job easier or much more difficult.