NFL star Adrian Peterson may have added another controversial twist to the league’s already drama-riddled labor lockout.
According to reports, the 25-year-old Minnesota Vikings running back expressed his opinion on the NFL Labor and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that recently expired, causing players to decertify from their union, ultimately forcing league owners to lockout the players.
“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,” Peterson told Doug Farrar of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner, “the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money.”
The Huffington Post reported that Farrar, who described Peterson’s words as a “real misstep,” pulled the quote out of his story not long after it was published because he wanted to give the young athlete an opportunity to further explain his statement.
But perhaps Peterson’s opinion on the subject was already explained thoroughly enough during the rest of the interview with Farrar. “These are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do,” Peterson said of the owner’s interest in extending the NFL regular season from 16 games to 18, while also keeping more percentages of nearly $10 billion made in revenue per year. “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 suggested the deal the players had under the last CBA was unfair, and the owners are hiding the proof of that by refusing to disclose their audited profit books. “Obviously, there’s a lot to hide – these guys are professionals, and they’re maximizing what they do,” he told Farrar. “But they know that if all this information comes out, the information the players want, it’ll be right out there for everyone to see. It’s a rip-off – not just for the players, but for the people who work at the concession stands and at the stadiums. The people working at the facilities, you know?”
Peterson appears to be speaking honestly and passionately about what he feels is an injustice to the players of the league. But not every player agreed with the terms he used.
Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant said via his twitter account that the “modern-day slavery” comparison wasn’t a fair assessment. “I have to totally disagree with Adrian Peterson’s comparison to this situation being modern day slavery … false,” Grant tweeted.
“Their is unfortunately actually still slavery existing in our world … literal modern day slavery … that was a very misinformed statement.”