By now, most people who follow sports have come to understand what the NFL's lockout is about. For those who are not familiar, the negotiation over profit sharing (for NFL players vs. owners) percents dropping by 18 percent is the larger issue, with multiple smaller arguments also coming to a head.
Recently, Adrian Peterson, a star running back for the Minnesota Vikings, came out with comments about the treatment of the players. He said they were being treated like “modern slaves”.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but slaves don't get paid or have belongings.
Peterson's comments were appalling and apprehensive. Ryan Grant stated it best through his tweet, saying he, Peterson, was misinformed and referred to the millions of actual slaves living in the world today.
In Africa, people are forced into bondage in order to mine for diamonds. In Eastern Europe, teenage girls are abducted, drugged and forced into sexual slavery.
An NFL star making $10 million a season being forced to take a pay cut during a national recession and asked to work 18 weeks a year instead of 16 is NOT slavery.
Now, I understand that this was an overstatement. Most players spend their own time and money helping those in need. Many are nice and caring individuals. And since the majority of players train year round and participate in mini camps, they do work more than 16 weeks of the year.
Generally speaking, football players are good-hearted people.
The bottom line is that sports are a luxury in society. The NFLPA is lucky they have any negotiating stance at all.
Society can survive without them. Society can not survive without doctors, teachers, construction workers or engineers. Peterson wanting to liken his situation to that of a retail employee making $30,000 a year, forced to work overtime to make even that, is disgusting.
That statement is a slap to the face of the hard-working American fans that pay his salary.
It is absolutely saddening how money corrupts a game. Between this lockout, contract holdouts and draft-day bonuses, it is no longer about a game and glory. Players need to understand that they are products.
Owners risk their money by getting into a sport franchise. Owners are the leaders of the operations behind the scenes. The hiring, firing, investments and construction plans are ultimately approved by owners. Even celebrations and parades for major victories are, often times, paid by the owners.
Players are required to show up, train and catch a ball. Albeit their job is hard and requires tremendous skill, they have only one task at hand. Owners carry a bag of hats.
In short, the NFL is on lock out, but it shouldn't be. Comments like the one made by Peterson show the naive behavior and mindset of the players. While thousands of Americans lose their bargaining rights, wages and retirement funds, the NFL players argue over their next millionth dollar.