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If anyone followed the NFL this past Sunday, I’m sure you heard about the tragic death of Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson’s young son last week. The child was apparently beaten to death by the boyfriend of the boy’s mother.

At a press conference last week, before the boy died, Peterson said he would play in Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers no matter what.

It was no surprise that the media ran with this story. I teach an introductory mass media course at a university, and I often talk about formulas and how news is put together. The tragic hero is an archetype the media relies upon again and again.

I have to say I was a little surprised that Peterson could pull it together enough to play in the game, not even 48 hours after his son died. But it shows that everyone processes grief differently. For whatever reason, Peterson decided that he had to play in the game. There are no rules when it comes to grief and how long the bereaved should remove themselves from their routine. Thankfully, I did not hear any criticism of Peterson’s decision, though I’m sure it’s out there.

What do you think of Peterson’s decision?

 

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