After he was indicted on charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child, Adrian Peterson released a statement in which he said: "Deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives."
And apparently his high school football coach, too.
Booker Bowie, who was Peterson's defensive coordinator at Palestine High School in Texas, told the Daily Mail that he used to smack Peterson with an 18-inch long wooden paddle. Bowie called that "tough love" and afterward, Bowie said Peterson would respond by saying, "Coach, thank you."
For the record, corporal punishment is legal in Texas. Bowie said he would give his students up to three licks with his paddle, but he also said he explained to the students before and after he hit them why he was doing so.
"It wasn't my intention to abuse the kids, the kids loved me for it. I wanted them to do right. They said, 'Coach, thank you.'" Bowie told the newspaper. "Adrian understands corporal punishment...it's not intended to hurt anybody, it's to get them going in the right direction. I have never had a problem with parents calling anyone complaining. The way Adrian came up, his parents, his mother was disciplining him. He understands it. It helped his teammates, his classmates. I think that’s what he was doing [to his son]."
Bowie also said he thinks Peterson has "suffered enough."
Whippings apparently were a part of Peterson's upbringing. USA Today recently told the story of when Peterson and friend David Cummings were leaving middle school one day. Nelson Peterson, Adrian's father, had received a call that Adrian had been disruptive in class and met the boys outside the school.
After confirming the story with his son, Nelson Peterson whipped Adrian with his belt in front of more than 20 students.
"When Adrian showed out or was bad, he got a whupping," his uncle, Greg Peterson told USA Today.
In his initial statement, Adrian Peterson said: "I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. ... I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man."