Adrian Peterson asked for privacy in coping with his son's death after thanking family, teammates and fans for their support
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -
Adrian Peterson supporters held a candlelight vigil at Mall of America Field on Saturday night in memory of his 2-year old son who died Friday in South Dakota after he was allegedly abused by his mother's boyfriend.
While the gathering was primarily for the son of the Vikings running back, organizers also hoped it would bring attention to domestic violence prevention.
On the corner of 5th Street and Chicago Avenue, event organizer Ismary Mccarty led the vigil hoping to shine a light on violence in homes and children impacted by abuse.
"There are multiple families across the country that suffer from this," Mccarty said. "The fact it's been broadcast to the entire NFL community gives us a platform."
AP fans say he may be a superhuman on the field, but when the pads come off, he's also just a dad who is hurting after his son died from what medical examiners call injuries consistent with abuse.
Police have arrested and charged 27-year-old Joseph Patterson with aggravated battery of an infant and aggravated assault, with possibly more serious charges ahead. Police say Patterson dated the boy's mother, who was not home Wednesday in Sioux Falls when the incident took place.
After some confusion about which son died, Peterson took to Twitter on Saturday morning to clarify Adrian Jr. lives with him and is doing fine. He also said photos of his 2-year-old will not be posted.
As the Vikings prepped Friday to take on the Carolina Panthers at home on Sunday, Peterson spoke to reporters with his boy still clinging to life.
"This is a private matter, and I'll ask you all to please respect my privacy and not ask about the situation, at all about the situation at hand. Thanks, I appreciate it," he said.
Yet even in the wake of Peterson's son's tragic death, supporters at this vigil say it could be used as an opportunity to present vital information about where to seek help.
AP is slated to play Sunday, saying football has always gotten him through tough times.