Christian Peter

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Christian Peter
Born: (1972-10-05) October 5, 1972 (age 45)
Locust, New Jersey
Career information
Position(s) Defensive tackle
College Nebraska
High school Milford (CT) Academy
NFL draft 1996 / Round: 5 / Pick: 149
(By the New England Patriots)
Career history
As player
1997–2000 New York Giants
2001 Indianapolis Colts
2002 Chicago Bears
Career stats

Christian Peter (born October 5, 1972) is a former American football defensive tackle in the National Football League (NFL). Peter's younger brother, Jason, also played in the NFL.

Early years[edit]

Christian grew up the oldest of four children in the Locust section of Middletown, New Jersey.

High school[edit]

Peter attended Middletown South High School where he played one year of football as a junior. The team went undefeated and won the state title in 1990.[1]

College career[edit]

Christian received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Nebraska where he was a three year starter. He became one of the leaders of Nebraska's feared "Blackshirt" defense. Peter was an all-Big Eight Conference and honorable mention All-American in his senior year, and finished his college career with 124 total tackles, 20 tackles for loss and nine sacks. He was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2006.[2]

Arrests and convictions[edit]

While attending Nebraska, Peter had several run-ins with the law for various offenses such as threatening a parking attendant while his vehicle was being towed, trespassing, public urination, refusing to comply with police, minor in possession of alcohol, and failure to appear in court. He was convicted four times. [3][4]

In 1993 he was accused of groping Natalie Kuijvenhoven (a former Miss Nebraska) in a crowded bar. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 18 months probation, and was suspended for a 1993 exhibition game.

Following the 1993 charges from Natalie Kuijvenhoven, Kathy Redmond, who attended the University of Nebraska with Christian, came forward and claimed that Peter had sexually assaulted her during their freshman year in 1991. No criminal charges were filed in the matter, but Redmond did file a Title IX suit against the University of Nebraska in 1995; the suit was settled out of court.[3]

In 1994, only a month before the draft, Christian was convicted of disturbing the peace after a woman accused him of grabbing her throat in a Kearney, Nebraska bar. Peter said he was under the influence during the altercation and admitted to responding in an inexcusable way after she had called him a rapist.[4]

Professional career[edit]

Peter was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft. The pick set off a firestorm of criticism from the Boston area press, including Patriots fans and women's groups, as well as Myra Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft.[3] After learning more about Peter's history, the Patriots relinquished the rights to Christian only a week after the draft. The team said that Christian's behavior was "incompatible with our organization's standards of acceptable conduct."[6] According to The Boston Globe, Myra Kraft personally demanded that the Patriots cut ties with Peter.[3] It was the first time in NFL history that a drafted player had been waived by a team before the start of training camp.

In 1996, the New York Giants signed Christian as a free agent on condition that he go through counseling for substance abuse, attention deficit disorder and anger management.[7] Christian apologized for his behavior while attending the University of Nebraska and still speaks about the Giants today as having saved his life.[5] After four years with the Giants, he went on to play with the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears where he retired in 2004.

Post playing career[edit]

Today, Christian speaks openly of his sobriety, past struggles, and those who have helped him along the way. He travels to schools, businesses, communities, rehabs, and correctional facilities sharing his story in hopes that someone struggling will be helped. Peter currently serves on the board of the Tigger House Foundation, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to achieving a positive impact by reducing the death rate of heroin and opiate addiction.[6]

Christian is currently residing in his home state of New Jersey with his wife and three children. In 2007, he started The Competitive Advantage Companies, a full service insurance brokerage firm based out of Red Bank, NJ.