The Radisson hotel chain is suspending its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings in the wake of child abuse charges against star running back Adrian Peterson.
"Radisson takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children," the chain said in a statement Monday evening. "We are closely following the situation and effective immediately, Radisson is suspending its limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."
The suspended sponsorship comes as the NFL continues to deal with criticism over how it handled the Ray Rice domestic-violence matter. But so far no sponsors have dropped their league-wide sponsorships over that issue, and most brands have either declined comment or issued tepid statements. Still, pressure has started to mount for some brands, including Procter & Gamble's CoverGirl, which is the league's "official beauty sponsor" and has marketed team-inspired makeup. A photoshopped image being circulated on social media shows a woman wearing Baltimore Ravens-colored makeup, but also a black eye.
In a statement issued Monday night, a P&G spokeswoman said: "As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, CoverGirl believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence."
The Minnesota Star Tribune reported that Radisson's team sponsorship includes a banner that is placed behind speakers at Vikings press conferences. The Vikings deactivated Mr. Peterson for Sunday's game after news broke on Friday that he was indicted on charges that he injured his son with a tree branch, known as a switch. But the team on Monday cleared the running back for this Sunday's game.
"To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child. At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action," the Vikings stated.
On Monday evening, KHOU-TV in Houston reported on a separate incident allegedly involving Mr. Peterson and another one of his sons. The station's report describes "a photo, allegedly texted by Peterson to the boy's mother, shows a head wound to the boy covered by two bandages," but states that charges were never filed.
The station later updated its story with the following quote from Mr. Peterson's lawyer, Rusty Hardin. "The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. This is not a new allegation, it's one that is unsubstantiated and was shopped around to authorities in two states over a year ago and nothing came of it. An adult witness adamantly insists Adrian did nothing inappropriate with his son. There is no ongoing or new investigation."