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PoliticsNation, Monday, September 15th, 2014

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September 15, 2014

Guest: Marc Morial; Chaka Fattah; Dana Jacobson

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, two major developments in two NFL scandals that could put
commissioner Roger Goodell in a tough position. NBC sports reporting
tonight Ray Rice will go on the offense, appealing the indefinite
suspension handed down by the league. He is expected to file by tomorrow.
The suspension came after this video surfaced, showing Rice punching his
then fiancee in an elevator. Rice is expected to argue he told the team
and the league that he punched her before his original two-game suspension.
The commissioner has said the video was, quote, "starkly different than
Rice`s version. A point Rice is expected to challenge. Meanwhile, over
the weekend, Rice made his first public appearance since the story
exploded, showing up at his old high school for a football game, with his
family, and his hometown embraced him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m highly upset. The only thing we can do is pray for

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m just here today because I`m here to support Ray
Rice. And I think that people should be forgiving and give everyone an
opportunity to redeem themselves.


SHARPTON: Today, NFL commissioner Goodell responded to the negative PR,
announcing he`s hiring four women to advise the league on its domestic
violence policy. The move followed an NFL game day that saw planes,
bearing "Goodell must go" banner flying over at least two stadiums.

And today new questions for a league with another scandal, a scandal played
by Vikings player Adrian Peterson will be playing this week. He was
indicted this weekend for hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch.
Peterson saying today, he didn`t intend to harm his son, and he`s not a
child abuser. It`s a story sparking a national debate on parenting, and
we`ll talk about it.

But we start with Ray Rice going on offense. Joining me now is Goldie
Taylor and MSNBC contributor and Dana Jacobson host with CBS morning sports
radio. Thank you both, first of all, for being here.


GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Dana, the big news today, Ray Rice is expected to appeal his
indefinite suspension. Does he have a case? Or what could this mean for
the commissioner?

JACOBSON: Well, he definitely has a case. And I think the reason that
we`re seeing this appeal, despite when he got the two-game suspension, he
said he wasn`t going to appeal that. Shortly after that, the league came
out with its new domestic violence policy which was six games on the first
offense, which is what this is for Ray Rice. So that`s his justification
for appeal, is that they went from two games, suddenly they went to a
season-long, really an indefinite ban, so it could be beyond that. And I
think just on a procedural looking at it from procedural background, that`s
where he has his justification. No matter what was said to commissioner
Goodell, that was the rule that was in place.

SHARPTON: Goldie, does he have a case?

TAYLOR: He absolutely does have a case, although I differ as to why. In
the new policy, he could receive a full suspension, a full indefinite
suspension if there were what the commissioner called mitigating
circumstances. And you could receive that on the very first offense. But
where he does have a great case, and whether or not you believe he should
play again tomorrow or next year or never again, where he does have a great
case for appeal is he explicitly says that he told the truth the first
time, and that the league had all of the information necessary to make a
decision the first time. And that only after this tape was produced did
they go back and change their mind in the face of public furor. And so,
while this is in a court of law, certainly this is about fundamental
fairness and fairness, of course, also has to be extended to Ray Rice.

The second part of this is, they`re going to have to appoint an independent
arbiter on this, Goodell cannot manage this appeal and police himself. And
so in that way, you may find Ray Rice has a good chance to appeal to return
to the field prior to next season. However, you got to ask yourself, which
team is going to sign him now?

SHARPTON: But, Dana, isn`t this really about who knew what when in terms
of the NFL? And then let me give you a second part to this. He was
suspended by the league, and his contract was terminated by the Ravens.
But here`s what the collective bargaining agreement between players and the
league reads and I`m reading directly from the collective bargaining

The commissioner and a club will not both discipline a player for the same
act or conduct. The commissioner`s disciplinary action will preclude or
supersede disciplinary action by any club for the same act or conduct. So
could Rice argue that he was punished twice for the same infraction?

JACOBSON: According to the letter of the law, it sounds like he can. And
that`s what -- the NFL players association is looking at what it can do,
how it should appeal this. They have until essentially midnight tomorrow,
so 11:59 p.m. eastern time, Tuesday, to make that appeal. It is about who
knew what when. But even if you go back, we`ve heard already the
conflicting reports that there are several people who have backed up Ray
Rice`s story, and the commissioner has stood by the fact that he didn`t
know the full facts in the case. You have Ozzie Newsome, who is the GM of
the Ravens who said he knew everything. And other people now saying, no,
we didn`t have the full story.

So if you`re going back to who knew, what, when, you could then go back to
the well then why was a two-game suspension, why would that OK? And why
once you first knew that, didn`t you go with the six-game suspension?
Despite any of the mitigating circumstances.

And one thing that Goldie said about having to find somebody independently
to hear this, they already have that precedent from the Saints from Bounty
Gate, where they went to former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and -- exactly.


JACOBSON: And he certainly in this case -- I mean, in that case, you could
have said it was too harsh of a punishment. In this case, because of all
the murkiness involved, he has to.

SHARPTON: But Goldie, let me bring it to another level. Because last
week, 16 female senators sent a letter to the NFL demanding a zero
tolerance policy. And this weekend, one of those senators, Kirsten
Gillibrand had tough words for Roger Goodell. Listen to this.


SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: I think the way the NFL handled
this was awful. It was outrageous. We are now looking to the commissioner
to enforce a zero tolerance policy. Given the recent debate, you know, if
he`s lied, if he lied to the American people, then he has to step down.
Because he won`t have the force of authority to change how they address
these issues.


SHARPTON: Goldie, in the end, how do we force change in the NFL?

TAYLOR: I think a couple of things I disagree with here, with Senator
Gillibrand. First of all, a zero tolerance policy would seem to me the
same punishment to everybody, despite whatever mitigating circumstances
there are. And every situation is different. Like zero tolerance in terms
of bringing weapons to school and kids bringing scissors or too sharp of a
butter knife, intend get expelled from school without any question. And
so, zero tolerance is something I can`t really stand up to.

But what I have to ask Senator Gillibrand and the others who signed that
letter, I`m very pleased and very proud that they stood up and called out
the NFL out on this. But what about, you know, Judge Mark Fuller down in
Alabama? Why haven`t they called for his impeachment? Why this case and
why not --

SHARPTON: For our viewers that don`t know, it`s a federal judge who had --

TAYLOR: Absolutely, a federal judge who beat his wife here in Atlanta, got
a diversionary program, but no one has called for his impeachment. Why not
that? He`s still on the bench and still has his job.

JACOBSON: Because the NFL is in the spotlight right now. And I think
that`s a big part of it. Because it seems so much easier. And you are
right, when you say zero tolerance and you look at this league, there are
going to be different circumstances in each case.

Getting rid of Roger Goodell doesn`t solve the problem. Roger Goodell is
doing what the 32 owners want him to do. So if you want to enact change,
take the person who`s in that position and start enacting change. Start
looking at where he`s failed and you start doing. It`s a really small step
in what they did today, the four women that you mentioned, three of whom
will be part of a new panel looking into how to discipline, and they`ve
also created a vice president position that will be doing outreach for
domestic violence --

SHARPTON: Let me press you on that spotlight, because now they are under
tremendous scrutiny. And as we were just talking, Goldie and I, about
Judge Fuller, who was a federal judge, by the way. But let`s go right back
to the NFL in the spotlight. You have the California Panther player Greg


SHARPTON: He was found guilty of domestic violence over the summer. His
ex-girlfriend testified that he dragged her by her hair room to room. She
said he was clutching her throat and threatening to kill her. This is a
player in the Carolina Panthers.


SHARPTON: At this time, last Friday, he was still scheduled to play, but
over the weekend, he was benched. Does this back and forth underscore the
need for better guidelines from the league?

JACOBSON: It does, but it`s also, I really do think this goes a lot to the
owners. Because Greg Hardy got deactivated by his head coach. Ray
McDonald is still playing with the 49ers. There are allegations out there
against him, but we haven`t seen anything in a court of law, like we have
with Greg Hardy. Adrian Peterson gets deactivated by the Vikings this past
weekend. But he`s back. He has been reactivated. He will be playing as
they go forward.

Never in this are we hearing from the owners as to their reasoning, why
they`re saying to their fans, I`m OK. Why is Jerry Richardson in Carolina
saying to his fans, I`m OK with Greg Hardy being out there and playing?
That`s a question I think he has to answer. Steve Bisciotti from the
Ravens at least has answered some questions now and has said, we should
have looked into this more, we should have done more.

So I do think there`s accountability. But I think that accountability
doesn`t just go to the commissioner, it really does go to the owners to
start enacting something. Roger Goodell can say, here`s my policy, as he
did with the domestic violence policy. That`s fine if he is representing
the owners. But how about these owners, these powerful men taking a stand
themselves and speaking out.

SHARPTON: Got to hold it there. Dana Jacobson and Goldie Taylor, thank
you both for your time tonight.

JACOBSON: Thank you.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Coming up, as we mentioned NFL star Adrian Peterson will play
this week after getting indicted for striking his son with a stick. It`s
sparking a national parenting debate, how far is too far?

And President Obama`s campaign to defeat the terrorist group ISIS. Today,
news on a critical part of the U.S. plan.

Plus, Hillary Clinton is in Iowa. And it has everyone talking 2016. But
will she have the progressive left behind her? It`s big news tonight.
Please stay with us.


SHARPTON: Today the world made it clear that the latest ISIS atrocity, the
beheading of a British aid worker will not stop the global campaign to
destroy the terrorist group. And the American people are with the
president. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Developing news tonight in the fight against ISIS. Today, world
leaders gathered in Paris, pledging military and logistical support to
President Obama`s campaign to defeat the terrorist group. A critical part
of the U.S. plan. Today`s summit comes after ISIS released another
beheading video, this time showing a British aid worker named David Haines.
His brother talked about the toll it`s taken on their family.


own way, unfortunately it was not in our hands, it was not in the hands of
the government. It was in the hands of terrorists.


SHARPTON: If the ISIS terrorists thought these awful beheadings would
shake American resolve, then they were wrong. A new NBC poll shows 62
percent of Americans support the president`s actions against ISIS. Just 22
percent oppose.

But in Washington, some of the right think the president hasn`t gone far
enough. Here`s what Senator Lindsey Graham said yesterday.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We`re fighting a terrorist army,
not an organization. It`s going to take an army to beat an army. And this
idea we`ll never have any boots on the ground to defeat them in Syria is


SHARPTON: U.S. combat troops on the ground? That`s the last thing that
Americans want. And just a few weeks ago, Graham admitted it, saying,
quote, "I don`t think we need boots on the ground. I don`t think that`s an
option worth consideration." Graham was against it before he was for it.
It is time to stop playing political games. It`s time to rally behind a
plan to stop ISIS without getting bogged down once again in Iraq.

Joining me now is congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from Pennsylvania and
Dana Milbank from "The Washington Post." Thank you both for joining me.



SHARPTON: Congressman, the American people want to hit ISIS, but they
don`t want troops on the ground. Why can`t some Republicans understand

FATTAH: Well, we went through the same thing with President Clinton in
Bosnia. It was an all air campaign and it worked. So first of all, you
don`t hear the joint chiefs saying this won`t work. General Allen, who has
been picked to lead this, says it will work. Today some 40 countries
pledged to participate.

So I think what you have here, we used to have a situation where politics
ended at the water`s edge. We have a commander in chief. We`re going into
a military situation. It would be good if even Republicans could just
rally around the president and support our efforts here. And not just
because Americans or British have been beheaded, but because you`ve had
thousands of people slaughtered by this group, and we should be opposed to
all of what they`ve done, the raping and the pillaging, going after
religious minority groups there, Christians and others. There`s plenty of
ample reason to get at these guys. But we can do it and be smart about it
and that`s what the president is doing.

SHARPTON: Dana, let me bring the congressman`s statement to you. Politics
ends at water`s edge. I mean, does this feel different to you? Are we no
longer dealing with these situations like we used to?

MILBANK: I don`t think so. I don`t think it`s been that way now for, 15
or 20 years. It seems to get worse in each case. Now, here you have a
case where, you know, if you really woke these guys up in the middle of the
night, most folks on the right and left are agreeing with President Obama`s
position. But they figure they just have to posture out there.

You know, Lindsey Graham, he`s very amusing. But he would probably get to
the point where if President Obama decided to drop a nuclear bomb on Iraq,
Lindsey Graham would complain that the mushroom cloud wasn`t big enough.

There is just seems to be nothing that can be done to satisfy that crowd,
the Dick Cheney wing of the party. But when push comes to shove, it does
look like they are going to get on board, the Congress, at least for the
first round of funding for the training in Syria and ultimately down the
road. At least if public opinion holds up, they will be pushed to support
this overall.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, in this anxiety and skepticism, what you`d
expect after a decade in the Middle East, last week, Speaker Boehner said
he`d back the president`s plan for is. Listen.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We stand ready to work
with the president, to put in place a plan that would destroy and defeat
ISIL. Frankly, we ought to give the president what he`s asking for.


SHARPTON: But now we are hearing that house Republicans will try to limit
President Obama`s aid to moderate Syrian rebels. First, it was give him
what he`s asking for. Now they appear to be trying to tie his hands. Is
politics coming back into this, Congressman?

FATTAH: One year ago, the president asked Congress to give him authority
to take military action in Syria. The Republicans ran away from that. We
are back a year later, saying that you got a group that now has moved
between and really limited the border between Syria and Iraq, and it`s
causing major damage there to any notion of a stable governmental process.
The first thing the president said was, Iraq`s government had to be put
together in a way that could unify the country.

That`s happened and it`s happening and now we need to take action to get
rid of these people who are murdering children, raping women, and yes,
beheading Americans and British, but they have no rules and they have to be
dealt with.

SHARPTON: Dana, how does this cut in the midterm elections? I mean, any
tracking on this one way or another?

MILBANK: Well, it certainly hasn`t seemed, up until this point, that this
would be a foreign policy election. To the extent that it affects when
there`s a crisis like this, there typically is a rallying around the
president. But let`s make no mistake about it, this is not going to be a
good year for the Democrats either way. You can expect to hear some
Republicans down the road suggesting a wag the dog situation, that
President Obama is dragging them into a war. Nevertheless, never mind that
it was a war that many of them were asking for.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, if you look at polls, Americans support
the president. But they`re also worried about whether the U.S. can
eliminate the threat. Twenty eight percent said they have a great deal or
quite a bit of confidence in our ability to destroy ISIS, 37 percent have
just some confidence, 31 percent have very little confidence. With this
skepticism, is this in part what I raised before, after, based on a decade
of being involved in war over there?

FATTAH: Well, the one thing you have to do is put the polls to the side.
This is going to be a situation where the president`s taking decisive
action. He`s rallied the world. We`re going to eliminate this threat.

Now, what the politics of it, some people want to say, it`s going to hurt
Democrats. You know, whatever the politics are, the fact is, we cannot, in
a civilized world, have people acting this way, attacking people, saying
they either convert or die, raping women, killing children, taking
prisoners of war and slaughtering them by the hundreds, and beheading
people on You Tube videos. This has to end and we`ll deal with the
politics as they may come.

SHARPTON: Dana, when we talk about the politics as they may come, we`ve
been hearing GOP officials use the ISIS threat to attack President Obama
over immigration. Listen to this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There is a great concern that our southern
border and our northern border is porous and that they will be coming

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R), ARIZONA: It is true that we know that ISIS is
present in Ciudad Juarez, as so they were within the last few weeks. And
so there`s no question they have designs on trying to come into Arizona.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Individuals from ISIS or other terrorist
states could be, and I think it`s a very real possibility that they may
have already used that.


SHARPTON: I mean, is that just noise that we should just not listen to,
Dana? I mean, ISIS coming from Mexico? I mean, really?

MILBANK: Well, you know, why not throw the kitchen sink at it. It`s like
that Republican congressman who`s trying to tie Obama care to Ebola. So
they`ll throw whatever they can at it.

The response from the Republican side hasn`t been terribly coherent. On
the one hand, you hear them saying well, Obama`s being too timid. He is
not being aggressive enough. And then the next breath, they will say,
wait. He`s asking for too much money. So on one hand, he is beating too
much of a warmonger, and on the other hand, he is being too much of a dove.
So you know, they can`t both be true at the same time.

SHARPTON: Have to leave it there. Congressman Fattah, Dana Milbank, thank
you both for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

FATTAH: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the Adrian Peterson child abuse case, the NFL
superstar speaking out, and his team says, he will play this week. It`s
all sparking a national conversation about culture, parenting, and the
right way to raise a child.

Also, Hillary Clinton`s big day in Iowa. She`s making waves by talking
about 2016. But can she win over the left? That`s ahead.


SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton is back in Iowa and dropping big hints about
2016. But the Democratic Party is different now than it was back in 2008.
We`ll talk about her challenges and opportunities, next.





CLINTON: I`m back!



SHARPTON: She`s back. Hillary Clinton made her first trip to Iowa this
weekend in more than six years. She hadn`t been back since coming in third
place in the 2008 caucuses. But yesterday the former secretary of state
spoke to a crowd of about 5,000 people. And she dropped some big hints
about 2016.


CLINTON: And then, of course, there`s that other thing.


CLINTON: Well, it is true, I am thinking about it.


SHARPTON: She`s thinking about another run. And from raising the minimum
wage to fighting for women`s rights, her speech highlighted a progressive


CLINTON: We Democrats are for raising the minimum wage, for equal pay for
equal work, for making college and technical training affordable, for
growing the economy to benefit everyone. Women should be able to make our
own health care decisions.


CLINTON: If you work hard and you play by the rules, you deserve the
opportunity, the same opportunity as anyone else, to build a good life for
yourself and your family.


SHARPTON: These issues are at the heart of the Democratic Party.
Progressives like senators Warren and Sanders have helped push them to the
forefront. And now we`re hearing people talk about both of them as
potential rivals to Mrs. Clinton. No doubt Democrats want to hear more
from Mrs. Clinton on income and equality, voting rights, and reforming our
criminal justice system. And we may be hearing a lot more from here very


CLINTON: It`s really great to be back. Let`s not let another seven years
go by. Thank you all very much!



SHARPTON: Joining me now is Marc Morial, president of the national urban
league, and MSNBC`s Krystal Ball. Thank you both for being here.


KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Marc, how do you think Hillary Clinton`s speech yesterday plays
with the new Democratic base of 2014?

MORIAL: When you talk about minimum wage and you talk about equal pay for
equal work, I think it`s an effort to give a nod to what I call the
emerging progressive electorate which is an essential component of the
democratic party in 2015, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Reverend, the electorate changed from election to election. In 2016, there
will be more people of color, there will be more millenials. The
electorate of 2016 is not the electorate of 2008, it is not the electorate
of 1998, or the electorate of 19892. And I think the candidate to be
successful in 2016 is going to have to work to that electorate. And
electorate certainly improves, energize, concerns about criminal justice
reform, voting rights, jobs, and growing income and equality and the
pressuring problems of urban America.

SHARPTON: Krystal, you`ve written that you don`t think Hillary Clinton
should run. But if she does, what does she need to do to win over

BALL: Well, I think as Marc says, it`s a good start to put down the
markers of raising the minimum wage. Although I have to say that Mitt
Romney is in favor of raising the minimum wage. It is a very popular
issue. So it`s hardly a bold and courageous stance at this point.

So she`s still in that sort of testing the waters phase. The thing that
would impress me and would impress a lot of progressives who really like
this sort of Elizabeth Warren model of populace progressivism. I think
what would impress then if she did something that was actually at odds with
her potential donor base, right, something that would tackle income and
equality like raising the capital gains rate, taking away the carried
interest loophole that so many in the financial professions benefit from.

So taking on some issues, having some political courage in the area of
taking on Wall Street, rather than just going with the sort of Democratic,
mainstream of yes, we want to see a minimum wage increase. But that`s
hardly a vision for remaking an American that`s going to work for the broad
middle class.

SHARPTON: Marc, you know, I had said that potential presidential
candidates need to talk about the shooting of Michael Brown and after a few
weeks Hillary Clinton came out with a strong statement. Listen to this.


CLINTON: Nobody wants to see our streets look like a war zone, not in
America. We are better than that. We can do better. We cannot ignore the
inequities that persist in our justice system, inequities that undermine
our most deeply held values of fairness and equality.


SHARPTON: How can Mrs. Clinton engage African-American voters to keep the
kind of engagement we`ve seen over the last few elections? Because there
has been some missteps with the Clintons and the African-American votes.

MORIAL: I think she starts from a good spot, which is that she`s a known
entity. And the record of her and her husband are certainly known in the
African-American community. But they`re emerging new leaders, nothing
should be taken for granted. There`s going to have to be outreach,
engagement, a new set of relationship-building, Reverend. Because there
are new kids on the block, they are new leaders out in the field, they are
new players in cities all across the nation. And every presidential
election is a forward looking event. Not necessarily a rearview mirror

So I think that issues like police community relations, criminal justice
reform, voting rights, civil rights issues, if you will, are going to be
important to so many of us, and how candidates speak about them, talk about
them, and talk about acting on them. This is the -- would be the first
post-Obama election, where we`ve had this historic figure of Barack Obama.
Certainly many of us are going to be looking at this election, thinking
about how, no matter whoever prevails, takes us forward and not backwards.

SHARPTON: And we`ve never been at this point in history before of where
we`re looking at the post presidency of an African-American. We don`t know
what that`s going to look like.

But let me ask you this, Krystal, the other factor, if Hillary Clinton
decides to run, is her husband. NBC`s Andrea Mitchell talked to him in
Iowa this weekend. Listen to this.


wants to, can she do it this time?

say. It`s not my decision.

MITCHELL: I think I know which way you would go.

B. CLINTON: No, you don`t. I don`t know yet which way I would vote.


SHARPTON: Now, President Obama --

MORIAL: I never seen him duck like that.


SHARPTON: That`s a new one. But the president, President Obama deployed
President Clinton very effectively, I might add, at the 2012 convention.

BALL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: How could Mrs. Clinton do the same, assuming she runs?

BALL: Yes. Well, this is the tricky thing for her, right, because there`s
also the piece of, how much do you run on the Clinton economy? Which for a
lot of people they look back at that era and they remember a time of low
unemployment, of booming growth, of shrinking deficits, all good things.

But there`s also a side of it, of so-called welfare reform, which has been
very difficult for a lot of people and hasn`t ended up helping a lot of
folks. There`s also NAFTA, right, which was a challenge for her back in
2008. What are you going to do to address that? So how much do you want
to own your husband`s legacy, and how much do you want to separate yourself
from that? That`s a question that she`s going to have to deal with.

I mean, in terms of former president Clinton, he`s an incredible
communicator, but he can be, as you know, undisciplined, and he can be
emotional. And it`s in those moments where he really poses a risk to her.
There`s also at times, problem of him potentially overshadowing her. He is
a former president. He is an incredibly charismatic figure, so that`s also
a tight rope they have to walk. I mean, look, I think they can figure all
that out. They have a trial run at it but those are some pieces that she`s
going to answer some questions about.

SHARPTON: We are going to have to leave it there. Marc Morial and Krystal
Ball, thank you both for your time tonight.

MORIAL: Thank you.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch Krystal Ball on "the Cycle," weekdays at
3:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, NFL star Adrian Peterson will play this week after getting
indicted for hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch. But it`s
sparking a national debate today on disciplining kids and how far is too
far. That`s next.


SHARPTON: How far is too far when it comes to disciplining kids? Viking
running back Adrian Peterson is sparking a national debate on parenting in
America. He was indicted this weekend for hitting his 4-year-old son with
a tree branch. Charged with reckless or negligent injury to a child. He
was benched for yesterday`s game.

Photos obtained from the Houston police report show injuries he allegedly
caused his 4-year-old son in May. The photos show cuts and bruises to the
boy`s legs, buttocks and back, that he received from a switch, a tree
branch, a punishment for pushing another Peterson son off a video game.
There`s even a photo of Peterson demonstrating the kind of switch he use.
Today the team spoke out, saying he`ll be back on the field this weekend.


RICK SPELLMAN, VIKINGS GENERAL MANAGER: Based on the extensive information
that we have right now, and what we know about Adrian not only as a person,
but what he`s also done for this community, we believe he deserves to play,
while the legal process plays out. At the same time, we must defer to the
legal system to determine whether he went too far. But we cannot make that


SHARPTON: Today everyone seems to have an opinion, and many of the
responses depend on cultural, racial, and class influences. So should Mr.
Peterson be playing? And how far is too far when it comes to disciplining

Joining me now, Goldie Taylor and Jonathan Capehart. His column is
entitled "Adrian Peterson must beat his upbringing." Thank you both for
being here.


TAYLOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, should Adrian Peterson be playing, did the NFL make
the right call here?

CAPEHART: I`m not sure. After seeing the pictures of the injuries that
his 4-year-old sustained, I`m not sure whether he should be playing. Look,
as I wrote in the piece, you know, I too was someone who was whooped from
time to time with a switch that sometimes I had to go and get myself.
Other times, you know, a parent or a relative would go out and get it to
ensure that whatever thing I wasn`t supposed to do I would never do it

But when you ask the question about how far is too far, I would have to say
that the injuries that we`re looking at on the screen right now, that
that`s too far. When you`re drawing blood from someone, from your own
child, you`ve gone too far.

And also, the experience that I wrote about, my personal experience of
having gone through this, I wasn`t a 4-year-old child. I was a little bit
older. I think it`s excessive to do that to a 4-year-old child. Those
injuries, so many of them, you just showed one picture, so many of them are
so -- they`re gruesome, to the point where you have to wonder, what was
going through Adrian Peterson`s mind. That`s a little excessive for a 4-
year-old child who just pushed another Peterson child away from a video

SHARPTON: Goldie, and thank you for coming back, by the way. I also was
spanked but not to the degree where blood was drawn. But I want to hear
from you, Goldie, and then Jonathan the fact, Mr. Peterson released in my
opinion, a very powerful statement, saying, quote, "I am not a perfect son.
I`m not a perfect husband. I`m not a perfect parent. But I am without a
doubt, not a child abuser. I`m someone that disciplines his child and did
not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I
feel for my son and for the harm I caused him." He says, quote, "I am not
a child abuser." Your reaction, Goldie?

TAYLOR: You know, my uncle Ross, who was the disciplinarian of our entire
family could have well spoken those words. I heard them as authentic. I
heard them as genuine. I heard them as coming from his heart. But the
person who does the abusing doesn`t always understand what abusing is. And
just because we were raised on it, just because it`s something so relevant
and specific to our communities, it came out of slavery, by the way.
Pulling a tree branch from a natural tree and whipping another person to
break their spirit, to hold them in line, it`s something that we as a
people brought from slavery. And so, we have to learn how to let that go.

And by the way, my uncle worked at the same (INAUDIBLE) gas station in St.
Louis for 25 years. Would I have wanted him to lose his job? No. But
would I have wanted him to be held publicly accountable for the deeds that
he delivered on myself, on the older and my generation, especially on the
boys? Absolutely I would have. And so, I`m a little bit conflicted by
this, while I believe in a warm swat to the behind, what happened in the
Peterson case, if he had done it to a 24-year-old man would be aggravated

SHARPTON: Some -- their problem with people over the weekend came out and
stated their views. Some defending Peterson. Watch this, Jonathan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m from the south. Whipping is -- we do that all the
time. Every black parent in the south is going to be in jail under those

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I was a kid, parents bopped you. They hit you,
took a switch, they kicked your behind and that was that. But I think all
of this, you know, other people in your business, is a little much for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any time your name is run through the mud and not let
due process take its place, your brand is somewhat, and your reputation, no
matter what anybody says, is hit.


SHARPTON: Jonathan, your reaction?

CAPEHART: Well, you know, I have to agree with what Goldie said in terms
of feeling conflicted. Yes, as I talked about before, you know, what
Adrian Peterson did to his son is, in my experience, in Goldie`s experience

SHARPTON: And mine.

CAPEHART: Right, and yours. I`m not going to say this is something that
is solely an African-American issue. I`ve been talking to people today who
aren`t African-American who say that they had to do the same thing, where
they also had to go out and pick their own switch and shuck the leaves off

But to add to something else Goldie said, the abuser never recognizes that
they are abusive. The one thing that Adrian Peterson said in his statement
was that he`s been seeing a psychologist, and as a result of talking to the
psychologist, he has now learned that there are other, more appropriate
ways to discipline your child that doesn`t rise to the level of taking a
switch to that 4-year-old child. And I think that, in addition to the
contrition that he`s shown in that statement, saying, I am not a perfect
son, I am not a perfect husband, it remains to be seen whether the "I am
not a child abuser" fits. But the idea that he`s seeing that what he did
to his child is not appropriate, especially not in today`s -- not in this
day and age, is, I actually think, a good first step.

SHARPTON: Now Goldie, we`re out of time, but Goldie, I think that it has
to be fair to say that there are a lot of prominent people that came out
and said he was wrong. And that they did not -- and I`m talking about
African-Americans that come out of the same cultural and racial background.
So let me show you this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t beat a kid to make him do what they want to

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thousands of things we have learned since then. And
now we`re to the point, the only thing I`m proud about is the team that I
played for, they did the right thing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take him off the field.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we supposed to simply separate a violent game on
the field from violent acts off the field? If we do, what message does
that send? What exactly does the NFL stand for?


SHARPTON: And Goldie, your reaction -- by the way, the first one speaking
there was NFL hall of famer Chris Carter.

TAYLOR: Chris Carter is exactly right. You know, my mother loved me, my
uncle loved me. I have no absolute doubt about that. But some of the
things that they did were wrong. They didn`t know that they were wrong.
They did them in love. I am older, I do better, I have grown children now,
and not afraid to tell you I have warmed a behind. But I have never used a
weapon on any of my children. And all of them did well and are successful
in this life. And so, I have to say that we know more now. When we know
more, we got to do better. We`ve got to take a real look at how we
discipline our children in our communities.

SHARPTON: Well, I think, you know, as I said, I was spanked, never by a
switch. A tree may grow in Brooklyn, but maybe they weren`t near our
house. But I was spanked. And I do think it`s dangerous to leave the door
open to allow people, especially now when we`ve seen such gruesome things
happen, to allow spanking now is a lot different than when I was coming up,
when you didn`t see the kind of abuse and the kind of going overboard.

And how do you protect children? Who gauges what is moderate and what is
not? You either have to keep that door open or close it tight. Goldie
Taylor and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your time tonight.

We`ll be right back.


JACOBSON: Actress Danielle Watts claimed she was detained by the LAPD for
a public display of affection with her boyfriend. Watts is best known for
her role in the movie "Django Unchained." Cell phone video from her
boyfriend captured part of the scene. She was handcuffed and put into a
squad car after refusing to show her I.D. She said she was fully clothe
and had done nothing wrong.

The police say they were responding to a 911 call of indecent exposure.
Watts claimed raise had something to do with it. And her boyfriend said he
believe police mistook for Watts for prostitute. The LAPD released a
statement that said, quote, "upon further investigation it was determined
that no crime had been committed. Ms. Watts and her companion was
subsequently released. An internal complaint investigation has been
initiated regarding this matter."

We`ll keep following this story.


JACOBSON: Finally on this day 51 years ago, these four little girls died
in the KKK bombing of the 16th street Baptist church in Birmingham,
Alabama. This crime shocked the nation, and led to the civil rights act of
1964, and the voting rights act a year later. But half a century later, we
face a new set of challenges. There are about 51 million people in America
who are eligible to vote, but who aren`t registered. We need to change
that. Everyone should vote. And early voting in the mid terms start this
week. that`s the best way to honor the memory of those four little girls
and all the others who have sacrificed so much on the long march toward

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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