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NFLShut Up

Shut Up, Phil Mushnick, Abhorrent Columnist Who Ripped On Adrian Peterson In The Wake His Son’s Death

Welcome to SportsGrid’s Tuesday feature, “Shut Up,” (pronounced: “shut up… comma”) where we add a name after the comma, telling that person to stop saying words, because they’re being stupid. This week, that person is a man who gets paid to be a cranky asshole.

If you don’t know New York Post “sports media columnist” Phil Mushnick, good for you. He is basically a paid troll who points out harmless mistakes in sports broadcasts and occasionally harps on one and sermonizes angrily on a non-issue. He also gets money to say things like “the Brooklyn Nets should be called the New York N—-s” and complain about Dunk City’s fun-having. What I assume happens is that he thinks of the most racist response to a hot topic in the sports world, writes it down, and then editors tone it down as much as possible, yet the ensuing product still remains awful with plentiful racial undertones.

But Mushnick’s latest column may have been his worst: He wrote a column shitting on Adrian Peterson right after his son died. Not only were did his complaints not warrant a column during happy times, but he fucking wrote this immediately after the tragedy.

The headline:

“Being a great player doesn’t make Peterson a great guy”

No fucking shit it doesn’t. But why are you even discussing this? Why is this a headline in the wake of tragedy? Yes, sportswriters are often guilty of this, but why are you bringing this up now? And you better be convincing if you really felt the pressing need to bring this up now.

We in the media — especially those working event broadcasts — have a horrible habit of blindly or wishfully reporting great achievers are additionally blessed: They’re great humans.

Sure. Everyone knows this. You gonna bring up the awful tragedy?

Among many others, we did it with Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. Last year, we began to do it with Adrian Peterson, before, and then after, he was selected the NFL’s MVP. With every big game — 2,037 running yards worth — the media bloated his profile: There runs Superman, a super guy, too.

Tiger Woods: serial adulterer. Lance Armstrong: cheating, bullying liar. Adrian Peterson: what, exactly?

“We talked with him after practice, and let me tell you this and that about Adrian Peterson.” “Adrian Peterson still finds time to do charity work in the Twin Cities area.” Blah, blah and blah. Good equals goodness.

Oh, he does charity work. I totally see where you’re going, Phil.

Thus it was unsurprising Peterson’s downside went ignored. In 2009, he was busted for driving 109 mph in a 55 mph zone. He dismissed that as no big deal, which was doubly disturbing — his older, full brother was killed by a reckless driver.

Oh, the incident that was reported by ESPN was ignored? Just because you forgot, and typed “how can i make black man adrian petersen look badly in colum” and this came up, doesn’t mean that his “downside went ignored.” Adrian Peterson fucked up as a 24-year-old. He sped. That’s dumb. He shouldn’t have done that. He got let off pretty easy. Was that entirely fair? No. But it’s not unique to Peterson. Not even close. And he fucked up four years ago. I can list off dozens of my friends who have made the same mistake. They all can be stupid, but they’re not bad people. And when bad things happen to them, I don’t go back four years into their past, and immediately bring back one mistake they made.

Oh, Billy, your mom is in the hospital? Well, remember that time in eighth grade when I laughed at you and you told me to shut the fuck up? WELL YOU’RE THE FUCKING WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD AND I HOPE YOUR MOM IS FEELING PAIN.

Last summer, Peterson was in a club when he and friends were informed that it was closing time, past 2 a.m. Apparently, Peterson and pals felt they would decide when it was time to close. The police report noted three cops were needed to subdue Peterson. He would have needed three cops to subdue him if he merely challenged them to a thumb war.

He spent the rest of the night in jail, arrested for resisting arrest (a charge that was later dismissed).

Oh, so a guy who apparently doesn’t drink often got frustrated, while really drunk, at a club, and got aggressive when told to leave. WOW JUST PUT THIS GUY IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION ALREADY. Again, I don’t need to convince reasonable people of this, but I’m sure we have all witnessed similar situations. Dumb? Sure. But it’s ONE FUCKING MINOR INCIDENT WHILE DRUNK. And you know why three cops were needed to subdue him? Because he’s fucking Adrian Peterson.

Of course, we all have to operate from are our own set of values, our personal sense of right from wrong. Perhaps, given current standards among NFL players — mostly college men, no less — Peterson qualifies as a man of good character.

Oh, so “college men” never speed or get too drunk and get aggressive. I suppose my entire college experience was a dream.

Still, I’m stuck with what I’ve got. And it’s sickening the NFL’s latest MVP, hours after his son died — allegedly murdered — declared he was “ready to roll,” ready to play football.

Me? I’d be fighting for breath, my knees weak with grief, demanding to know why, who, how. Then, I suspect, I’d seethe with rage, swearing retribution. I even think I’d take off a day or two from work. Maybe a week.

And here’s the most sickening part of this scummy column. A fucking sports media columnist telling a human how to grieve. He criticizes Peterson, because he even thinks he’d “take off a day or two from work. Maybe a week.” Peterson played two days after the death. So Phil Mushnick is that fucking pissed that he might have taken a few more days off? When is it right to go back, Phil? Two days is so soon you have to write a column demonizing a grieving man, but if it were thirteen days, he’d be a hero? And the fact that he’s playing means that he’s not “weak with grief?”

Here was Peterson’s statement on why he played, for the record.

My brother passed the night before the combine and I decided to go through with it. The same reason why I will play this week. You may ask why? God wants good to come from it… We mourn and grieve but heaven had the baddest welcoming party for my son. That knowledge gives me peace. I’m still hurt and feel the pain of life, but I’m able to function because of the peace and joy of knowing my loved ones are in a much better place.

I just wasted a lot of time and energy telling Phil Mushnick to shut up, but I think Peterson’s statement does it more effectively. We wish you the best, Adrian Peterson, and we wish you the worst, Phil Mushnick. Go write about how Chris Collinsworth stuttered at 4:32 in the third quarter and leave us all alone.

Photo via

  • Ted Tidwell

    Don’t understand how this column is any different than the one on Mediaite. Obviously, this family of sites have a select group of writers who feel the need to shout anyone down who has a different take. Shut the F*ck up isn’t a great approach at encouraging a civil discourse

    There are lots of us out in the real world that don’t have the luxury of taking home $100 million paychecks. Likewise, there are also lots of us that can manage to not father multiple children out of wedlock, and think because we are gagillionaire sports stars we should get a pass on the obvious questions that just begs to be asked when something like this happens. Questions like: “Why do you have so many kids with so many different women?” or “How are you winning any father of the year awards getting arrested at strip clubs with your crew at 3am? or “Why did you just meet your 2 year old son in the ICU as he lay dying?” or “Did anyone ever approach you about the paternity of this child prior to his death?”

    This question just begs to be asked, how can anyone be a responsible father when they screw so many women they can’t even keep how many kids they have straight?

    Sorry, these questions offend you, but there are lots of other people who ask them of one another, let alone print them for everyone to read. I feel sorry for kids who grow up never knowing their dads, in households where its questionable that anyone values the gift of their life.

  • EasyE

    AP is douche. I can’t believe you guys would even take his side or any side on this topic. I assume you don’t have kids, maybe? If my son was bruttely murdered, I don’t know how I would survive. He makes one trip to SD where the kid shouldn’t have been in the first place. All the “media” had to say intially, was “it’s not Adrian Jr”…not Adrian Jr. who has everything and more life can offer…he’s just some bastard child from some “dumspter” AP decided to leave a desposit and ignore. F-him and I appluad Mushnick for saying what most people should be saying…any guy can be a father, but it takes a man to be a Dad. Keeping dropping those seeds, AP. As far as I know, the dicks thinking…”one less child support payment”.

  • stillsomnemoralpeopleleft

    Oh, is there is a no day off for mourning rule for bastard children?

  • sideshowRaheem

    Congrats you’re another dummy who pointing fingers without knowing the full story. AP didn’t even know this kid existed until 2 months ago the child’s mother thought it was her ex-boyfriends until a paternity test showed that it wasn’t. When she contacted AP he asked what he could do to help without even questioning whether or not the the kid was his. Perhaps do a little research before you comment.

  • Anonymous

    i was just about to comment with this info. thanks.

  • Anonymous

    i’m not trying to encourage civil discourse. i’m trying to tell him to shut up because he is concretely wrong.

    see “sideshowRaheem’s” comment.

    also, it was 2am. and it wasn’t a strip club. it was this place. http://www.bayouplace.com/

    these questions don’t “offend me,” your moralizing based on false information does.

  • EasyE

    Does this even matter? So, what you are saying is he knew it was his kid before he was murdered? Just keep pretending you know who these clowns are and more and more stories (as the ones Mushnick points out) keep coming out. What gets me is why is everyone feeling so bad for him, then? If he didn’t know about the kid until 2 months ago and didn’t care to be there when he was pulled off life support, then why should I feel bad for AP? He should receive no attention for this then. No one should be saying what a great man he is for playing on Sunday, etc. Blow me.

  • EasyE

    No…apparently not. If you only know about the kid for 2 months or less, you are allowed to have millions of people feel sorry for you and pray for you, but you don’t have to mourn or be there. Keep dropping seeds, AP!

  • Ted Tidwell

    Yeah, I morally judge people that have a brood of children outside of a family environment that has them involved in their kids lives in some tangible way …Maybe if AP didn’t have a problem with the name Redskin you might have a different opinion of him?

  • sideshowRaheem

    If you want to make the statement that a lot of athletes are assholes no one is gonna argue with you but that has nothing to do with this. What the shithead Mushnick is arguing is that all this is somehow AP’s fault because he hadn’t been take care of the kid for 2 years which isn’t true. He glosses over all the charity work AP’s done and used the fact that he got a speeding ticket 4 years ago and he once got into a fight outside of a bar as examples to prove what an asshole this guy is. Are you honestly saying that on the scale of horrible things young, stupid over privileged athletes have done a speeding ticket and a bar fight rank even in the top million? There are plenty of other people to criticizes in professional sports before we get to AP if you’re honestly saying AP is as bad as Lance Armstrong or Aaron Hernandez or Jason Williams then I’m not sure what planet you’re living on.

    If you actually read any interviews with AP before this incident or bothered to read the statement he released to the media it’s clear that the guy is super religious and honestly believes that his son is in a better place. Of course idiots like you and Mushnick don’t understand why AP played because you can’t even begin to understand the mental toughness it takes to play in any major sport at that level that’s how he got to were he is, it’s what makes him different then the rest of us, it’s why we celebrate greatness in the first place..

  • Anonymous

    just read the guy’s comment above.

    he had two kids he was aware of and by all accounts treats them well. he had a kid he was unaware of and handled it well when informed. come the fuck on, man. i’m done here.

  • sideshowRaheem

    As if players haven’t declared millions of times that playing can help them cope from loss. How the camaraderie of teammates allows them to feel normal again.

  • ty

    Easy I don’t know what is going on in your life or do I really care, but you spent most of your time commenting on facts you know nothing about I don’t think that AP is in your personal circle but you are talking like you know him personally, and he offended you , as far as how he is dealing with the death of his son. you don’t know how one grieves , so if he choose to play to deal with his grieving then that is what he did, find something in your life that makes you happy and maybe you won’t have to entertain a washed up racist sports writers comments. go out and get laid. maybe the blood rushing to both heads will give you some comfort.

  • EasyE

    That’s your response? Get laid? I have an opinion on this just like you do. And how dare you call Matt Rudnitsky a washed up racist sports writer!

  • Ted Tidwell


    Sounds like a wonderful dad. No way in the world will this tragedy serve to bring more of his kids out of the woodwork. This is all to predictable.

  • Anonymous

    “‘I don’t blame AP for not really caring cuz him and I both found out recently who the biological father was. AP met my son for the first time yest [sic] when my son was already in coma.”

    dude, just stop. i don’t know enough about adrian peterson to judge his character. but there’s no reason to think he’s a bad person. none. if you find something illustrative, come back. if not, give it up. i’m not sure why it would behoove you to defend phil mushnick, confirmed asshole.

  • Ted Tidwell

    I am looking at it from a different angle I guess, I don’t entirely agree with all of the examples Mushnick used in making his point. But I do think that Adrian Peterson should be lionized as some extraordinary example of strength of character in the media because he played in a football game in the wake of this little boys death.

  • Anonymous

    i agree. but i didn’t see that. all i saw was people saying “wow, this is horrible,” and “i wish him the best/feel bad for him.” i don’t see why the reaction was even worth discussing until people like mushnick used this as an excuse to make up some horseshit about how he’s a bad person without any legitimate evidence.

    i didn’t see anyone say that he’s great because he played. maybe people said that, and that would be dumb. the fact is: i’m sure he was distraught, maybe not nearly as much as people thought, because he didn’t even know the kid was his ’til the incident, but i’m sure he was distraught — and he decided to play. his reasoning made perfect sense. everybody grieves differently and there’s no correct way.

  • arcram7

    In this country most “Super Religious” people do not have children out of wedlock with multiple women… nor do they stay in strip-clubs until 3 Am and then argue with cops about it… Also, John Wayne Gacy did Charity work…. was he awesome?

  • Ted Tidwell

    I don’t think people need to shit on the way someone chooses to grieve. I can’t put myself in his shoes as a person (on so many different levels) But at the same time I find it hard not to judge the persona. At least where I live, there was alot sports talkers assigning their emotions to AP…oh he will run angry, oh he is playing for his son,.etc.. There are lots of things we don’t know about pro athletes as people, that I think when they surface, bother us as fans. Just tired of having to be so damn cynical.

  • Noel Greco

    Never read a Mushnick column before. He’s now in my regular rotation.

    A guy who writes the truth in spite of the expected backlash is someone worth reading.

  • sideshowRaheem

    Sorry you’re right AP is a horrible person because as we all know all religious people never make mistakes they are all perfect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Who can forget that famous quote by Jesus “Always be perfect never falter, EVER!!!”

  • Anonymous

    Well, didn’t the original column give a couple of “illustrative” examples as you require? Driving 105 in a 55 mph, while at the same time this Peterson guy lost a brother in a car wreck where speed was involved? Not leaving a bar when it closes and arguing with the cops? Maybe in your set, that doesn’t mean a dicey character – judging by your language, I suspect it does not – but I’m glad Mushnick made what seems to be an obvious point – Peterson is not a great guy.

  • Anonymous

    That’s what qualifies in your opinion as character? Not having the decency to pull out of a game when on the day a tiny son is brutally murdered?

  • Anonymous

    Look, there was a time when everyone knew what decency required. Behaving indecently wasn’t swept under the rug with some trite cliché that everyone grieves differently. One showed respect at the loss of a family member, and that respect entailed disrupting one’s life a bit, and withdrawing from normal activity for some period of time (like, longer than a couple of hours).. It’s sad that people pretend there is no standard for decency any more – but for them, perhaps there isn’t.

  • Anonymous

    Well said, and I’m glad you left the lowlifes sputtering and swearing, which is about all they can do.

  • Anonymous

    A speeding ticket, a bar fight, kids out of wedlock and a murdered child you couldn’t take time to grieve for. Doesn’t sound like seeing him in a fairly reprehensible light is “ridiculous” to me.

  • Anonymous

    How many of these people would feel great if their own Dad went to work a couple of hours after they died? Oh, they will say, it would be fine with them. And sad to say it may be. Even the barbarian tribes, like the Vandals and the Visigoths. grieved with more respect.

  • Anonymous

    Look, you don’t need to feel “normal” the same day after your little boy is brutally murdered. Sheesh!

  • sideshowRaheem

    Maybe you don’t, maybe he did. Mushnick said he would take a week off if his son died I’m sure there are a lot of people who would say that’s not long enough ether. Does that make him a horrible person? Stop trying to be in charge of how other people morn.

  • Eric Goldschein

    I think everybody here is arguing different points. This particular article isn’t about whether Adrian Peterson is a bad person. It’s about a NY Post writer who took unnecessary shots at a guy he felt was grieving improperly. As we all know, there is no “correct” way to grieve.

    Especially in light of what we know now about AP — he may have as many as seven children with different women — some of us feel that he’s setting a bad example for what it means to be a father. I wouldn’t disagree with that. But his handling of the situation with the child that died must be assessed separately from the other situations he has “created” himself. He appears to be irresponsible in that regard, but that’s for another argument.

    In fact, for that argument, check this out: http://www.sportsgrid.com/nfl/its-looking-as-if-adrian-peterson-isnt-a-huge-fan-of-condoms/

    Hey, I think we are having some interesting civil discourse, indeed. Thanks everyone.

  • Anonymous

    haha, you’re gonna be REALLY disappointed. but you will find out for yourself.

  • Anonymous

    haha is it possible to be washed up at 22? at least i’d know early enough to change careers

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    i don’t know why it’s so hard to understand it was a regular club and it was 2am

  • Anonymous

    yes, it gave two examples from long ago. if two bad decisions made someone a bad person, i assure you i deserve a column far more intense than this one. and i’m a pretty tame guy

  • Anonymous

    this is just a product of sports talkers not having enough to talk about, but you’re definitely right there, them having no idea of the details, and claiming he’ll “run angry” etc. is ridiculous

  • Anonymous

    you really can’t be serious.

    you have a problem with a guy because he decided to play a game two days after this, but you would have been fine if he waited a week? i don’t understand. there’s an exact cutoff on grieving time. this is a law? which amendment was that?


    Yes Noel;

    You are right. He is one of mine too. It is now shown that AP has 7 kids out of wedlock. It looks like even Phil M. didn’t even know how bad AP really is.
    Also, AP never even met this son.

  • Anonymous

    matt—-FUCK YOU

  • Throwback

    A young woman walks out of a bar at 2 AM alone and drunk, bad things are going to happen. A teenager joins a gang because he has no family structure, bad things are going to happen. An athlete uses his notoriety to indiscriminately spread his seed among multiple recipients, bad things are going to happen.

  • Anonymous

    hey, that’s not nice! it’s ok, though. i forgive you. thanks for reading.

  • Michael D Dirmeier

    The core of Liberalism is that every ethos is equal to every other ethos. Hence, America’s core values aren’t any better than those of Pol Pot, who murdered 1/3 of his nation.

    Accordingly, you think a man who has 7 children by 5 women is a great guy.

    My conclusion? You are as scummy as Peterson.

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