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Mounting troubles for the National Football League

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 15, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

O'REILLY: Thanks for staying with us. I'm Bill O'Reilly.

In the "Weekdays with Bernie" segment tonight, mounting troubles for the National Football League.

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Star of Minnesota Vikings, running back, Adrian Peterson, has been charged with beating his four-year-old son in Texas. Peterson missed yesterday's game but has been reinstated and is expected to play this coming Sunday.

There have been a number of NFL players charged with violence off the field, yet some Americans remain unfazed. Look at this picture -- a lady wearing an Adrian Peterson jersey and holding a stick, similar to the one Peterson allegedly used on his four-year-old son. Unbelievable.

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Joining us now from North Carolina, the purveyor of BernardGoldberg.com, Mr. Goldberg. You know it, there was a story about Ray Rice with fans sticking up for him and -- you know, I don't understand the mentality. Do you.

BERNIE GOLDBERG, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, I think I do actually. First, this would be a good time to remind everybody that "fan" is short for "fanatic."

And, according to my dictionary, a fanatic is someone motivated by an extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm. So, that woman whose picture you just showed, --

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-- that is unreasoning enthusiasm. But I think, Bill, that the reason sports fans do what they do, --

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-- goes a lot deeper than that. I did a story for "Real Sports" on HBO about --

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-- fan violence and interviewed a sports psychologist, a college professor. And he said that, with institutions in America crumbling and breaking down, starting with the family and religion, people go to other things --

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-- where they find a sense of acceptance and a sense of belonging. And, very often, that something else is a sports team. And, in a lot of cases, the sports team is not only the most important thing in their life, it's the most important thing in their city's life.

A lot of cities, the sports team is the most important things going on. So, the fans find this acceptance and this belonging. And, as crazy as it may sound, the Baltimore Ravens and Ray Rice, to some fans, not at all, --

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-- are family. And it's hard to abandon a family member even when you acknowledge that he did something terribly, terribly wrong.

O'REILLY: All right. But I think you can be a fan, which I am --

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-- and I think you are, of certain teams, and then when something happens on a team that you favor, you say, OK, it's not the team's fault. I mean, it's not Baltimore Ravens' fault that Ray Rice did what he did.

It's not the Minnesota Vikings' fault that Adrian Peterson whipped his boy, allegedly, with a tree branch. I mean, they're employees. And employees in every company do bad things.

But you've got to accept that. You don't promote it. And therein lies the psychological dilemma because fans, I do agree with you, are far too emotionally involved with their team, to the point where they're fighting other fans.

And people are getting killed. And to the point where they're, you know, supporting people who do violent things just because they wear a jersey that they like. That's insane.

GOLDBERG: That's what my story on "Real Sports," that's precisely what it was about. Now, have you ever noticed that people say about -- there's a game last night and they say, "Hey, we won."

And, you know, when people say that to me, I say, "Really, what position did you," --

O'REILLY: Yes, well, I'm with them spiritually.

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GOLDBERG: Yes, but, "We won," that tells you psychologically how much they identify with the team --

O'REILLY: Sure.

GOLDBERG: -- and with the players on the team. And all I'm saying -- look, I'm not defending at all that woman.

That's just stupid -- that picture that you showed of that woman. That's stupid. But, you know what, --

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-- I've got to be careful how I say this -- the Ray Rice people who wore his jerseys, I think that's a little more complicated. They all said -- I heard what the people said, I read what a lot of them said.

They all said -- that I read anyway in her -- "What he did was wrong." They say that right off the bat. "He should be punished." They say that.

But, as one woman said, she said, "You know, and, now, now, you're going to just pretend he doesn't exist?" I think that's what bothers them.

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The elites think that these people who wore a Ray Rice jersey are the great, dopey, stupid, unsophisticated, unwashed Americans. They have no respect for them.

But, I think that if you acknowledge that what he did was wrong, if you say he should be punished, but all you're saying is don't give him the death sentence, you know what, I don't think it's --

O'REILLY: Yes, but I don't think you'd want to promote him by wearing his apparel, no.

GOLDBERG: No, I would never. I would not have worn his jersey.

O'REILLY: I mean, because that sends a wrong message. Now, here's another message that sent. The Vikings got their butts kicked yesterday.

And they don't -- they virtually have no chance to do anything this year unless Peterson is in the backfield. So, bang, --

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-- he's back even though there is, tonight, another allegation against Peterson, a second one, that he beat another son.

And so then, you get back to money over everything else.

GOLDBERG: Of course. I mean, look, --

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-- we're both guys who played sports and no sports. In the big leagues, whether it's college or the pros, if you're not that good and you do something wrong, --

O'REILLY: You're done.

GOLDBERG: -- you're done by nightfall.

O'REILLY: Right.

GOLDBERG: But if you're Adrian Peterson -- now, this second allegation -- now, this is putting the Vikings in a bad spot because they have said he's going to play this Sunday.

He didn't play last Sunday, yesterday, but he's going to play this Sunday. I don't know. And if anybody ever comes up with video of anything going on, then you'd know.

O'REILLY: Yes, then it's over.

GOLDBERG: Then you know it's over.

O'REILLY: Right. Because, now, the Vikings are saying, "Listen, you know, you're innocent until proven guilty." Let it play out. And, again, in the other case, --

GOLDBERG: That was one. That was one.

O'REILLY: Yes, it's an allegation though. So, he hasn't been convicted of anything but a video, of course, would do him in. There's no doubt about it.

GOLDBERG: Right.

O'REILLY: Bernie, as always, thank you.

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