FOX Sports Exclusive
Peterson compares NFL labor to slavery
The running back's explosive comments were quoted in a Yahoo! Sports story last Friday, the same day the NFL Players Association decertified and the NFL owners subsequently locked out the players.
Peterson vented his anger about the owners refusing to open their financial books.
“It’s like . . . well, show us. We want more information, and they want to (expletive), going around, saying this and that, just open it up and give us the information we want,” Peterson told Yahoo! Sports shortly before the NFLPA’s decertification last Friday.
“. . . If they have nothing to hide, just give us the information. Why not? Obviously, there’s a lot to hide — these guys are professionals, and they’re maximizing what they do. 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.”
But Peterson didn’t stop there. Many NFL players feel that they aren’t being treated as business partners, but Peterson chose a different term for the treatment.
“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.”
Yahoo! writer Doug Farrar apparently removed Peterson’s comments for a time shortly after they were published. The quote already had spread across the Internet, however. Yahoo! included an editor's note Tuesday that said it was reaching out to Peterson for context to his comments.
“I don't think he meant it in the way it's going to come across, but the word itself is a problem,” Farrar said via his Twitter account.
Peterson, who was selected in the first round of the 2007 draft by the Vikings, will enter the 2011 season — if there is one — in the final year of his rookie deal, a source confirmed.