“Dancing With the Stars” fans have decried the casting of Adrian Peterson on the reality competition in light of the NFL running back’s past arrests for child abuse and suspicion of domestic violence.
Following Wednesday’s announcement of the season 32 cast, featuring Peterson, 38, with pro partner Britt Stewart, fans made their displeasure known. Stewart’s Instagram photo post of the dancing duo was deluged with comments calling out Peterson’s past and “DWTS” for the casting.
“Adore you to pieces, as you are one of the kindest, most genuine and talented out there; however I cannot vote for an abuser. Shame on the producers!” said @healthyhappyhomebody in an Instagram comment.
“Britt I love you so much and I will always support you! That said, I cannot in good conscience vote for you and your partner this season. I feel so bad you’ve been put in this position because you deserve so much better,” wrote Instagram user @bethholler.
“WHAT IS DTWTS DOING?!?!?! This is honestly just unacceptable,” commented another Instagram account.
“We love you @brittbenae and we are so ready for you to get that mirrorball, but a known child abuser/DV? No way can I vote for you this year and support him,” another Instagram user wrote.
Media representatives for “Dancing With the Stars” and Peterson did not respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
What has Adrian Peterson been accused of?
In 2014, Peterson, then 29, was indicted on a felony charge for injuring his 4-year-old son while disciplining him with a switch that resulted in cuts all over the boy’s body. Peterson avoided jail time by pleading no contest to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless assault. In addition to a two-year probation period, he was fined $4,000 and performed 80 hours of community service.
Saying Adrian Peterson has “shown no meaningful remorse” for injuring his young son, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Minnesota Vikings star without pay for a year.
After a 2018 Bleacher Report interview in which Peterson discussed disciplining his son by spanking him “with a belt,” Peterson’s agent Ron Slavin, told the Associated Press in a statement that “there is nothing more important to Adrian Peterson than being a good father to his children.” Slavin said Peterson “learned several valuable lessons” in 2014 because of the suspension and counseling.
In 2022, Peterson agreed to domestic violence and alcohol counseling after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence following a flight with his wife Ashley. Ashley Peterson defended her husband two days after the arrest via an Instagram post, according to ESPN, writing: “On Sunday, Adrian and I had a verbal argument. Unfortunately, it was on an airplane. At no point did Adrian hit or strike me. This is a private matter between my husband and myself.”
Contributing: Scooby Axson
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘DWTS’ fans reject Adrian Peterson casting due to child abuse arrest