NY Post's Phil Mushnick writes column implying AP is partly responsible for son's murder
Mushnick (right) argues that AP is partly responsible for his son's murder.
The New York Post's Phil Mushnick is no stranger to controversy. But he outdid himself with his Sunday column about Adrian Peterson's "secret" son, which media observers are calling "possibly [the] worst column ever" and "the most offensive sports column in the history of Earth."
In "Being a great player doesn't make Peterson a great guy," Mushnick argues AP's alleged moral shortcomings are partly responsible for his child's murder.
Mushnick begins his column by making a case that AP's past is a little more checkered than the media has usually acknowledged:
We in the media -- especially those working event broadcasts -- have a horrible habit of blindly or wishfully reporting great achievers are additionally blessed: They're great humans [he cites Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong as examples]...
Thus it was unsurprising Peterson's downside went ignored. In 2009, he was busted for driving 109 mph in a 55 mph zone. He dismissed that as no big deal, which was doubly disturbing -- his older, full brother was killed by a reckless driver.
Last summer, Peterson was in a club when he and friends were informed that it was closing time, past 2 a.m. Apparently, Peterson and pals felt they would decide when it was time to close. The police report noted three cops were needed to subdue Peterson.
He then blasts Peterson for telling reporters he was "ready to roll" and "focused" on Sunday's Vikings game just hours before his son passed away in a Sioux Falls hospital:
[I]t's sickening the NFL's latest MVP, hours after his son died -- allegedly murdered -- declared he was "ready to roll," ready to play football.
Me? I'd be fighting for breath, my knees weak with grief, demanding to know why, who, how. Then, I suspect, I'd seethe with rage, swearing retribution. I even think I'd take off a day or two from work. Maybe a week.
And of course, Mushnick can't resist taking a shot at Peterson for being an absentee father, even though, as we've reported, the identity of Ty's father wasn't clear for some time after the child was born:
The suspect in the beating murder of Peterson's 2-year-old is the boyfriend of Peterson's "baby mama" -- now the casual, flippant, detestable and common buzz-phrase for absentee, wham-bam fatherhood.
Mushnick then argues Peterson was indirectly responsible for Ty's death because he didn't spend more of his considerable wealth ensuring the child and his mother were living in a safe home:
The accused, Joseph Patterson, previously was hit with domestic assault and abuse charges...
Money can't buy love, but having signed a $96 million deal, he could not have provided his child -- apparently his second from a "baby mama" -- a safe home?
Finally, he concludes by conjecturing Peterson's own upbringing might've had something to do with how he handled the situation:
But given Peterson's father did hard time for drug money laundering maybe we're both stuck with the values in which we were born, raised.
Talk about tailoring the facts to fit your interpretation of events. Peterson traveled to Sioux Falls shortly after he learned his son was in the hospital and there's no indication he failed to pay child support or had an acrimonious relationship with Ty's mother. Rather than seeing the situation for what it is -- the tragically sad tale of a young life cut short at the hands of a man who had abused children in the past -- Mushnick chose to make it about Adrian Peterson.
Then again, as others have pointed out, perhaps nobody should be surprised by a column of this sort appearing on the pages of the New York Post these days.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.