Sportress of Blogitude

School visit by Adrian Peterson brings one overwhelmed student to tears


Adrian Peterson rejoined the Minnesota Vikings this week after a long, arduous and sometimes agonizingly contentious months of uncertainty in the wake of his child abuse scandal. On Wednesday, the running back joined several of his teammates, including quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and head coach Mike Zimmer on a visit to a Twin Cites-area elementary school. Peterson’s presence even overwhelmed one student to such a degree that it brought him to tears.

The original plan was for 40 Vikings players to visit students at Falcon Heights Elementary School in their classrooms, theĀ Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson reports, with the rest of the roster helping out with the team’s annual construction of a new playground. But inclement weather put the kibosh on that plan and all the players ended up at the school.

Peterson and Bridgewater reportedly were the most popular players, and the running back spent his time meeting with and third- and fifth-grade classes, signing autographs.

One student, fifth-grader Jaquil White, was so blown away by meeting Peterson he cried.

“I had one particular student that I wanted to make a connection with Adrian, and he’s a strong football player,” said Falcon Heights Principal Beth Behnke. “So when Adrian walked in, he fell back on his chair and he cried. … He got a huge hug from Adrian and a picture with him. There were absolute tears. He couldn’t believe this was happening.”

Zimmer, among others, later addressed over 500 students during an assembly, with Bridgewater saying he really enjoyed spending time with the kids.

“It was total fun,” Bridgewater said. “I know how much it means being able to come here and have an impact on these children.

“I’m glad to be a part of it. … To be able to come here and set a good example for the young children, it’s great. It means a lot to me.”

Peterson’s reputation obviously suffered greatly as a result of his child abuse case, but as one child’s overwhelmed reaction indicates, he still has the ability to have a positive impact. It’s encouraging to see he’s already doing his part and contributing to the Vikings’ community outreach initiatives so shortly after returning to the team.