Adrian Peterson Calls NFL 'Modern-Day Slavery'

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:16 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 16, 2011 4:23 PM CDT

Corey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former University of Oklahoma and current Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made waves recently when an interview surfaced in which he compared the ongoing NFL labor negotiations to “modern-day slavery.”

Peterson’s comment was part of a long interview with Yahoo! Sports writer Doug Farrar. With the NFL players union recently decertifying in preparation of a lockout, Farrar asked Peterson about his take on the situation.

“It’s modern-day slavery, you know?” Peterson said. “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.”

Peterson’s remarks created a firestorm as soon as they went public. Several current and former NFL players spoke in opposition of Peterson’s stance, including Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant.

“I have to totally disagree with Adrian Peterson’s comparison to this situation being Modern day slavery?false?” Grant said on Twitter. “Their [sic] is unfortunately actually still slavery existing in our world?Literal modern day slavery?That was a very misinformed statement.”

Farrar conducted the interview with Peterson almost immediately after the union filed for decertification Friday. At one point, Farrar removed the controversial comment before putting it back with an editor’s note saying he did not think Peterson meant the comparison literally.

Peterson’s agent, Ben Dogra, spoke to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in defense of his client Wednesday. He said Peterson currently is doing charity work in Africa and that his comments should not be taken out of context.

“I think anybody that knows Adrian knows that Adrian is a very strong-willed and passionate individual,” Dogra said. “The game means an awful lot to him. People should not just take his statements per se word by word.”

Peterson is scheduled to make more than $10 million next season, and the sticking point in the negotiations between the players union and owners is how they will split more than $9 billion in revenue.

Tensions already had been running high between the two sides, with players calling the owners’ head lawyer a liar and the union reportedly asking incoming rookies not to attend the NFL Draft. Peterson’s comments only made matters worse and poured fuel on an already burning fire.

Oklahoma Sports will bring you more on this situation as it develops.