That's ironic because Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings and one of the NFL's most acclaimed players, faced charges that he disciplined his 4-year-old son with a switch (a tree branch with the leaves removed) in May. Peterson was charged with felony child abuse, which carries a possible punishment of two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Peterson has been on paid leave from the Vikings, and his no-contest plea means he will not spend time behind bars. But the NFL has rejected a request for Peterson's immediate reinstatement.
Where is the irony in all of this? Rollins brutally beat his 16-year-old stepson in 1995, but records indicate he never was threatened with a felony or jail time. Rollins was convicted of simple assault. His punishment? He was fined $100, charged $65 for court costs, and $250 in restitution to Franklin Regional Medical Center in North Carolina.
Why the hospital charge? The boy, who is Sherry Carroll Rollins' biological child from a previous marriage, was injured so badly that he required a trip via ambulance to the emergency room. Here is how Sherry Rollins described her son's injuries in an on-camera interview with Legal Schnauzer. Ms. Rollins now lives in Birmingham, Alabama:
I couldn't tell what his injuries were exactly. He was stumbling as he walked toward the house. His face was all blood . . . as if he had no eyes, completely covered. There was no way of seeing his eyes. How he walked, I don't know. He stumbled into the house as the ambulance was coming.
Ms. Rollins said her son had a broken nose and numerous abrasions and lacerations. She also said paramedics administered oxygen during transport to the hospital, a sign that blood loss was to the point that the boy was in danger of going into shock.
In short, injuries in the Rollins beating were life threatening. What about in the Adrian Peterson case? Here is how one news report described them:
CBS Houston, citing law enforcement sources and police reports, said Peterson beat his 4-year-old son with a tree branch in Spring, Tex., in May, causing cuts and bruises in several areas of the boy’s body, including his back, ankles and legs. Peterson told the police that the punishment was a “whooping” administered after the boy pushed another of Peterson’s children.
By most accounts, Adrian Peterson engaged in corporal punishment that, under the law, went too far. According to an eye witness account from Sherry Rollins (see video below), Ted Rollins beat her son so severely that it could have resulted in death.
On top of that, Ted Rollins' career seemed to flourish in the aftermath. He became CEO of a public company that received more than $1 billion in Wall Street investor support. And it's not like Wall Street didn't know about the ugliness in Ted Rollins' background. A prominent analyst named Paula Poskon was told in fall 2012 about Ted Rollins' criminal history and initially reacted by stating, "Oh, my God!"
Did she take any significant action? Apparently not. She eventually tried to strong arm me into deleting her comments. She even threatened to lie about what she had said in a tape-recorded phone conversation.
Meanwhile, Adrian Peterson's career status remains uncertain.
Why the radically different treatment for Adrian Peterson and Ted Rollins? Peterson is black and grew up under difficult circumstances in rural Texas. Ted Rollins is white and grew up in one of America's wealthiest families, the folks behind Orkin Pest Control, Dover Downs Gaming and Entertainment, and Rollins Jamaica resorts, among other enterprises.
Are these two cases a sign that "equal protection under the law," as stated in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, doesn't mean much these days?