Millionaire NFL player: Players treated like modern day slaves

The 2011 NFL season is in jeopardy because of a dispute between the players & team owners (story here). While there has been strong rhetoric on both sides, none has been as completely vacuous or asinine as this from Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Apparently Peterson believes that the team owners treat the players like “modern day slaves.” Huh? WTF?

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared NFL owners’ treatment of players to “modern-day slavery,” according to an online interview published Tuesday by Yahoo! Sports.

Yahoo’s Doug Farrar, who conducted the interview Friday with Peterson, removed that comment from the story later Tuesday, explaining on Twitter that he wants to give Peterson the chance to provide context.

“The players are getting robbed. They are,” Peterson told Yahoo. “The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with. I don’t know that I want to quote myself on that.”

When discussing other players feeling the same way, Peterson said: “It’s modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money. … The owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do. I understand that; it’s how they got to where they are now. But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, ‘Hey, without us, there’s no football.’ ”

Peterson is set to make $10.72 million in base salary in 2011.

I suppose that what Peterson doesn’t understand is that without the owners, and more important, the fans, he wouldn’t be making almost $11M a year. Especially without a college degree. Peterson attended Oklahoma State University where he majored in basket weaving football sociology. He left after his junior year to enter the NFL draft. It does appear, however, that some of his colleagues do understand this simple fact.

Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant took exception to Peterson’s comment, writing on Twitter: “Their is unfortunately actually still slavery existing in our world. Literal modern day slavery. That was a very misinformed statement.”

Added Grant: “But I understand what point he was trying to make. I just feel like he should have been advised a little differently.”

Saints fullback Heath Evans said he agrees with most of the Twitter responses about Peterson, which have been mostly negative.

“We are all blessed to even strap a helmet on in this league!” Evans tweeted.

Alas, poor Adrian. I have a suggestion for you. Since no one is forcing you to be a slave to an NFL team, you could always work somewhere else. Can you say, “Do you want fries with that burger?”

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