As Christian NFL player Adrian Peterson skipped practice with the Minnesota Vikings due to a personal matter on Wednesday, one of his ex-lovers and mother of one of his sons claimed she is aware of at least seven children he has sired out of wedlock.
Erica Syion, a former dancer and mother of one of Peterson's sons, told TMZ.COM that she was only aware of Peterson having five children including her son before news reports revealed he was also father to a 2-year-old boy he met on his deathbed last week and a daughter reportedly he welcomed into the world with a waitress about three months ago.
"I only knew of five. The other two I didn't know about until just recently when it was reported," Syion told TMZ. "My son knows of the four other brothers and sisters," she explained.
Syion noted that as far as she was aware, Peterson takes care of all of his children financially but he could do more as a father.
"I'll say he takes care of them financially, the ones that I know of. He gets my son in the summer time but he could do better," she said the former dancer.
According to Forbes.com, Peterson 28, is one of the NFL's most electric playmakers and was ranked at number 58 on Forbes' list of highest paid athletes.
In 2011 he was awarded a seven year contract that made him the highest-paid running back in the league. He earns about $21 million annually. His contract pays him an additional $1 million a year if he breaks 1,250 rushing yards in a season. He has missed that mark only once in his five-year career.
The latest revelations on Peterson's growing number of children have been making a damning statement to fans including Christians who sent him an outpouring of support when it was revealed that his son had allegedly died at the hands of the boyfriend of the boy's mother.
"Thank you to my family, my fans and fans of other teams for their support. The NFL is a fraternity of brothers and I am thankful for the tweets, phone calls and text messages from my fellow players. God Bless everyone and thank u so much," Peterson posted to his Facebook page on Oct. 11.
But as it became apparent that Peterson was hardly a parent to the boy and only met the child for the first time on his deathbed after learning he was the boy's father about three months ago, sympathy has been turning into anger and disdain.
"You dare invoke the name of God when you're out breeding like a dog to the extent that you've never even SEEN most of your 7 children?! You and that one of your FIVE BABYMOMMAS are as guilty in that baby's death as the man who killed him. Shame on you. You're no man. Go get sterilized since you don't give a crap about your children. You have NO BUSINESS being a parent," wrote Emily Passarello Seaman on the thread of changing sentiments of support below the Oct. 11 Facebook post.
"It's sad, I just read an article put out by the REAL father of the boy that died, you know, the one that raised him because you were too big of a man to take care of your responsibilities. Sad, you try to act like a father now when you didn't even meet this poor child until he was in a coma. You sir, are the height of pathetic," wrote Aaron Quandahl on the same thread. "Just because you donate some sperm on a drunken night of being a douchebag, doesn't make you a father. It just makes you...well a deadbeat. Just tryin' to keep it one hunnit," he added.
On Wednesday, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier revealed that Peterson missed due to a personal matter but wouldn't say whether it was related to his son's death.
"He and I will talk later today, but I expect him to be back tomorrow (Thursday), ready to go," Frazier said.
Peterson played on Sunday in the Vikings' 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers, two days after his son died from the injuries he suffered in an alleged aggravated assault from his mother's boyfriend Joseph Patterson.
Patterson is currently sitting in a Lincoln County jail on $750,000 bail and could face more charges as a result of the boy's death.