The Radisson hotel chain is suspending its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after star running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse in Texas.
In a statement Monday, Minnetonka-based Radisson, part of the family owned hospitality and travel company Carlson, said it "takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children."
• NewsCut: Vikings almost showed some character
• Tuesday: Dayton: Peterson a 'public embarrassment' to Minn.
• Monday: Peterson says he's not a child abuser
• Friday: Vikings star booked, released from jail
"We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances," the company's statement read.
Radisson's sponsorship includes a press banner that is behind those speaking at Vikings news conferences. On Monday, the banner was behind Vikings general manager Rick Spielman as he discussed the team's decision to reinstate Peterson after benching him for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.
Peterson is accused of using a tree branch to spank his 4-year-old son. The running back says he was using a form of discipline his father used on him as a boy.
"Based on our long-standing relationship, the Minnesota Vikings respectfully honored Radisson's request," a team spokesman said in an email Monday night.
On Monday, Vikings' General Manager Rick Spielman faced intense questioning from reporters as he attempted to explain the team's decision to let Peterson play this coming weekend, after deactivating the running back before Sunday's match against the New England Patriots.
"We are trying to do the right thing," he said. "This is a difficult path to navigate, regarding the judgment of how a parent disciplines his child," he said, adding that the team believes Peterson deserves to play while the legal process moves forward.
Spielman said the photos of the cuts and marks on Peterson's son were "disturbing" but added "we feel strongly it's the court's decision to make" on whether Peterson's discipline "went too far."
Spielman also denied that Peterson's superstar status had anything to do with the decision to let him play as the case continues.
Peterson released a statement apologizing for the "hurt I have brought to my child," adding that "after meeting with a psychologist" he knows there are other ways to discipline a child that may be more appropriate.
"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser," the running back added.
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