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Bears player talks about speech impediment

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

According to the National Stuttering Association, three million Americans stutter, including Chicago Bears running back Adrian Peterson.

Adrian Peterson is just as active on the field as off. He is one of the most visible Bears in community service appearances. Growing up was not easy for Adrian Peterson.

"I got teased a little but you have to understand that if someone doesn't understand what you're going through so it is kind of easy for them to tease you," said Adrian.

Sometimes speaking is challenging.

"I guess its more of a day cause I mean from time to time its good but some days I can just go out talking and then some days I have a little more trouble so it's kind of a day to day thing," said Adrian.

It has never stopped Peterson from talking about his speech impediment.

"I'm not shy about speaking about my situation because I see it as a part of me and I've stuttered for 26 years or 20 years so it's a part of who I am," said Adrian.

Peterson got interested in sports when he was six years old. It had nothing to do with being a stutter.

"I didn't really understand what the stuttering you know and all that because when you're five or six there are a lot of kids who can't really pronounce words, they just figure you're just a part of growing up," said Adrian.

This is Peterson's fourth year playing for the Bears and probably one of his best.

"I have great support from the fans. I haven't seen a town that cares so much about a team and once you have fans that do that that makes our job a lot," said Adrian.

Peterson has always had fans.

"When I was back in college, a lot of parents come out to our practices and they would bring their kid out and introduce me to them and they tell them he also stutters but the kids are still kind of shy so they don't really says too much," said Adrian.

One of the people Peterson hopes to meet is former Chicago Bulls Bob Love who also stutters.

"It was kind of the situation I went through when I was growing up because I stutter as I was younger some kids teased me starting out but as they got older they understood I'm the same person as they are," said Adrian.

Online Resources:

  • Adrian Peterson
  • National Stuttering Association

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