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Littlefield On Sports: The NFL In Chaos07:40
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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Minneapolis. (AP)

The NFL has had a disastrous few weeks. The latest news came at 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, when the Minnesota Vikings reversed course and announced that it is barring star running back Adrian Peterson from the team while he deals with his arrest on child abuse charges.

Earlier this week, the Vikings said Peterson would play. But that changed when the outcry from the NFL's biggest sponsors proved too deafening to ignore. Beer giant Anheuser-Busch released a statement saying the company was "disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season."

Incidents such as child abuse and domestic violence have overwhelmed a league that usually exercises extreme control of its image and messaging.

Join Bill Littlefield to talk baseball and culture at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline Sept. 18.

Guests

Bill Littlefield, host of NPR's Only a Game. He tweets @OnlyAGameNPR.

Ben Volin, NFL reporter for The Boston Globe. He tweets @BenVolin.

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Only A Game: Littlefield: To Curb Off-Field Violence, Make NFL Players Pay

  • "Over the last couple of weeks, NFL fans have been confronted with a video of Ray Rice punching his fiancee in the head and with photographs of the wounds of a four-year-old child whom Adrian Peterson beat in the legs, buttocks, and scrotum with a tree branch."

This segment aired on September 17, 2014.

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