November 6, 2014

Nike has terminated its contract with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the shoe and apparel company confirmed Thursday. Peterson filed a no contest plea for charges of reckless assault earlier this week.

The football star allegedly hit is four-year-old son with a switch. After the boy’s mother reported him to the authorities, Peterson said that although he felt remorse, he was just disciplining his child and didn’t believe he had committed a crime. Per the terms of Peterson’s agreement with the prosecution, the plea makes no reference to either family violence or violence against a minor. Peterson will pay a $4,000 fine, perform 80 hours of community service and be placed on probation. The Vikings deactivated Peterson for their Week 2 game against the New England Patriots, but have since reinstated him.

Nike suspended their contract with Peterson on Sept. 17, according to ESPN. Peterson also lost deals with Castrol and EpiPen earlier this year. Standard morals clauses in endorsement contracts allow for companies to drop athletes for various legal or ethical transgressions.

Nike has dropped three other athletes besides Peterson this year: Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after a video leaked of him hitting his now-wife in an elevator; Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius who was sentenced to five years in prison for the negligent killing of his girlfriend; and UFC fighter Jon Jones who brawled with another fighter in August.


Write to Eliana Dockterman at

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