Mendenhall Backs Peterson’s ‘Modern-Day Slavery’ Comment

In a recent interview with Yahoo Sports, Minnesota Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson made the comment that the players’ role in the NFL is like “modern-day slavery.”

Those comments were met with a lot of backlash from fans and other NFL players, including Green Bay Packers’ running back Ryan Grant.

But on Wednesday former Illini player and current Pittsburgh Steeler, Rashard Mendenhall backed up Peterson’s comments. The following is the unedited transcript from Mendenhall’s Twitter feed.

“@AdrianPeterson Anyone with knowledege of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel eachother. If you look back and disect what I said, I ddnt say that the NFL was slavery, I said that they parallel eachother. Look up the word parallel. This means that they’re not the same thing, but they run the same course. These paths will never cross, but they mirror eachother. I could break down how, but that would take an amount of ideology and big words that a lot of you wouldn’t understand.

“Learn to LISTEN before you pass judgement. Because speaking without knowledge of subject is truly ignorant. Outside of the dollar amounts you see on tv, you don’t know what’s going on with the innerworkings of this buisness. I don’t know what goes on at your job. But how dumb would I sound if I read about it in the newspaper and tried to tell you what’s going on? Its bigger than what you people on the outside see on sundays, see on ESPN, read about in the paper. Just like any job, any business anywhere. Really think about that.”

  • Brian B

    Wikipedia defines Slavery as follows:
    Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property and are forced to work.[1] Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation. In some historical situations it has been legal for owners to kill slaves.[2]

    The number of slaves today remains as high as 12 million[3] to 27 million,[4][5][6] though this is probably the smallest proportion of the world’s population in history.[7] Most are debt slaves, largely in South Asia, who are under debt bondage incurred by lenders, sometimes even for generations.[8] Human trafficking is primarily for prostituting women and children into sex industries.[9] It is the fastest growing criminal industry and is predicted to eventually outgrow drug trafficking.[9][10]

    other than the “propery” comment, I don’t see much parallelism with the NFL players situation

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    That’s the thing. Mendenhall has obviously lost all sense of reality.

    Can he go anywhere else and work? Absolutely.
    Can he go anywhere else and make the same money? No.
    There’s little you can tell the average American that will swing them to your plight when you make that much money and compare your business to slavery.

    Whether it’s right or it’s wrong, the more players talk, the more the owners will gain the backing of the public.

  • Japan...Bad

    Outside of the dollar amounts you see on tv? Rashard, anyone who makes 6 to 7 figures for a living will NEVER get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to work/labor issues. Should we feel sorry for the typical pro athlete that has had his a.. kissed since he was a kid because he was big, strong, or fast? Those of us who wouldn’t understand the “big words” you would need to use to explain the parallels between the NFL and slavery fully understand that your profession is NOT an easy one, especially with the long-term physical effects most players will endure. However, when it comes to discussions of slavery, as Doug Buffone says, “STOP YOURSELF!!!”

    • bigtime sucker

      last time i checked, football is a choice, nobody is holding him agaist his will. he can retire, have his contract bought out and feel free to enter the private sector whenever he feels like it. he apparently is educated enough to do that based on his comments. heck it sounds like he can teach ap us history at any highschool and educate people on that ugly period of american history. nobody is forciing him to do anything. there is no parellel. if there is a parellel it’s not to colonial american slavery but to ancient roman slavery in which slaves were forced to compete to death on behest of their aristocratic owner’s pursuit of social standing and power. watch spartacus gods of the arena. i think a parellel lies there, not in what our nation did.

  • PTC

    I sold my season tickets (PSL) last week. I had 4 seats, been in the family since forever. Pro athletes AND owners got it all wrong. Good riddance.

  • Brian B

    How was the price for the PSL. Where were your seats? we are in section 249, would love to sell them

    • PTC

      they were section 205…bot psl for 2500 when they first issuesd them in 2002?…had 4 seats…sold all 4 psl’s for 22000..minus transaction cost basically doubled my money. sadly, going to Soldier Field ain’t what is used to be. I used the Bears PSL marketplace page and it was pretty easy..

  • David Doriot

    To Mr Adrian Peterson and anyone else that agrees with your statement, WAKE UP!!! How can you compare the job you have to any aspect of slavery. Are you free to seek employment elsewhere? Yes you are. Do you reap the benefits from the work you do? Yes you do. Are you paid well for the work you do? Yes you are. Can your employer tell you what job to do and how to do it? Yes he can. Can he fire you if you do not do your job. Yes he can. This all sounds like you have a job, not unlike the millions of others in this country that are employed. The only difference is that you are compensated better then most. It sounds like to me, that because of your talent, you have been catered to for most of your adult life. Now, someone is doing something you don’t agree with. Oh, my god, an employer wanting to run his business the way he needs or wants to and having the employees upset about it. Maybe you should retire and get a job outside of the NFL. NO you say. Why not? Because you are compensated so well that you couldn’t get that for any other job you could do. I don’t know. this sure doesn’t sound like slavery, this sounds like business. When you don’t get compensated and are forced to do a job against your will, when you can be physically sold to another person, when you can be abused and punished with no recourse, then you can start making a connection to the slavery issue. Until then, quit your whining and deal with the situation in an adult manner.

  • Mary Mitchell

    Preach it my brothas from the different mothas.

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  • RE - MN

    Agree w/ AP. He hit the nail on the head and drove it into the coffin. The owners, (31 individuals or conglomerates of wealthy individuals) make as much collectively as all the players combined(1,696 active players only). Who is the product that sells?, J Jones and Bob Kraft or Tom Brady and Tony Romo? Do the math and there is your answer. 32 / 1,696 = 1. 9%. in other words on average the players make 1.9% of the income the owners do. AP made his comments after the the NFL made their final offer before lock-out. This offer contained a clause that made it so players would not receive any profit sharing over their base salaries until 2015. That means that if the NFL made any money off selling their rights, none would be shared. Sounds parallel to me, forget the amount of money. Am i missing something?

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