Adrian Peterson is developing a unique resume in the NFL that revolves around, of all things, slavery.
First, upon taking the NFL by storm his rookie season, Peterson starred in this badass Nike commercial featuring the song List Of Demands by Saul Williams. The song has a second title, Reparations, and while the song and album are both favorites in the Warwas household, there is no doubt that it is infused with racial sentiments. The inclusion of the song in this ad was the first real mainstream exposure Saul Williams’ music had ever really gotten.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Peterson made the comments that were heard around the world.
“It’s modern-day slavery, you know?” Peterson told Yahoo! Sports shortly after the NFL locked out their players. “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.’”
Peterson’s comments were a poor choice but, even the reporter that wrote story says this, there is the chance that the words made more sense in their original context and setting. Regardless, those comments have been hanging over the labor dispute and are likely to always be included in Peterson’s ever-growing legacy as one of the NFL’s greatest.
Peterson had not immediately publically acknowledged the criticism he received for making those comments and later appeared in a commercial for the DNA Foundation, founded by Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore, which aims to make the American public aware of truly real modern day slavery and human trafficking.
Asked at Wednesday’s ESPY’s if he harbored any hard feelings towards the NFL owners Peterson gave a much more respectable answer.
“Not at all, it’s business as usual,” he said. “You never get what you want, but you can get close to it. So I’m sure that’s what it’s going to end up being.”
Peterson acknowledged that some players, like James Harrison of the Steelers, are angry about this whole hellish lockout. This time around, however, Peterson chose his words much more wisely and made one of the more reasonable comments we have seen all lockout long.
“To each his own,” Peterson said when asked about controversial comments made by Harrison. “But it’s business. These owners, they are in their position because they worked hard, they made good decisions. So of course they are going to try to get the best deal for themselves. So it’s business.”
Peterson may now be saying all of the right things, but I still have little doubt that those comments he originally made are going to linger over him for a long, long time.
After all, controversial comments always create more headlines than the even-handed ones.