Reaction To Adrian Peterson’s Poor Choice Of Words
Adrian Peterson’s on-field play has always turned a few heads. Unfortunately, it was the fifth-year running back’s off-field words that caught everyone’s attention this week.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports had the opportunity to talk with Peterson minutes after the NFLPA officially decertified last week, setting the stage for the current lockout. Peterson touched on a number of topics, but his frustration boiled over when asked about the lockout.
“It’s modern-day slavery, you know?” Peterson told Farrar. “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.’”
Given the sensitive nature of Peterson’s quotes, Farrar published, then retracted, then re-published a story including the quote. He initially pulled the quote wanting to allow Peterson “the opportunity to provide context as opposed to just running with it.” It did not take long for other media outlets to run with it, however, so Farrar re-published the interview in its entirety. Pro Football Talk published a reaction almost immediately, and it was only a matter of time before the local and national media chimed in as well.
Most of the local media who cover Peterson on a daily basis pointed to the timing of the interview and Peterson’s character. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote on his Twitter account that “For those upset by Peterson’s comments, I’m sure he was upset but those statements don’t reflect the guy I’ve covered since 2007.” He added that, “If anything, I’m guessing Peterson was caught up in the moment of what was happening.” Zulgad points out that Farrar was speaking to Peterson about fifteen minutes after both men found out that the 2011 season was up in the air.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com responded that, “I’ll reiterate that from everything I know about Peterson, the analogy was way out of character.” And Tom Pelissero of ESPN 1500 noted that Peterson is “known as one of the NFL’s most approachable and amiable stars.”
When looking at the bigger picture, it does appear that Peterson’s quote was out of character. After all, this is the same selfless individual who is currently on a charity mission to Africa with teammate Bryant McKinnie for the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This is also the same man who — without any media presence — spread holiday cheer for a number of lucky boys and girls in the Twin Cities area last December.
Even if Peterson’s words were, as Peter King put it, “One of the 10 least-intelligent sports quotes ever,” it’s important to remember that Peterson is human. I’m not excusing what was said; I’m simply saying that he makes mistakes, just like the rest of us.