Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson admitted Thursday that he took issue with things recently said about him by former NFL stars and current FS1 television hosts Cris Carter and Shannon Sharpe.
According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Peterson said he had a problem with Carter and Sharpe's doubts over his ability to be productive in 2018 at the age of 33:
"Watching some of the things they said about me, man, it really hurt me to the core. Not only are they black men, but these are people I looked up to. And these are people that made mistakes, especially Cris Carter. So some of the things that came out of his mouth, not only personally, but about me as a player—aw, he's washed up and this, that and the other, and he should just retire—how dare you?
"Then Shannon Sharpe, the same thing. He said some things and I'm just like, 'Wow, I can't believe that would come out of your mouth.' I understand that people are entitled to their opinions. That's the way of the world. But they are in a position where millions of people are watching them."
Peterson signed with the Redskins on Aug. 20, and he is poised to assume a big role in Washington's backfield following the season-ending injury suffered by rookie running back Derrius Guice.
Despite averaging just 3.4 yards per carry in 10 games split between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals last season, Peterson is confident he will have the last laugh: "What I'm going to do when I ball out this year, I'm going to have all my fans ... look up all the people who [said] something negative about me and put them on blast and prove that when they are on TV, they don't know what they're talking about."
Neither Carter nor Sharpe had a problem with Peterson's reaction, but they didn't back down from their comments either.
After making eight Pro Bowls in 12 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Carter appeared in five games for the Miami Dolphins in 2002 at the age of 37.
"Did you see me in a Dolphins uniform?" Carter said, per Bell. "I had no business playing that season. I wouldn't have admitted it, either. These guys get so sensitive about everything. Adrian had better get over himself. We were all great. But at the end, we all smelled like a baby's diaper."
Sharpe essentially echoed Carter's sentiments, saying, "I get it. I don't take it personally. He forgets that Cris and I played the game. We sat in those seats as older players."
Both Carter and Sharpe are Hall of Famers, and Peterson will likely join them as a first-ballot choice five years after he retires.
While Peterson led the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns with the Vikes in 2015, he has been plagued by injuries and ineffectiveness since then.
He showed flashes of brilliance in a preseason game against the Denver Broncos last week, though, rushing for 56 yards on 11 carries.
Since neither Rob Kelley nor Samaje Perine have taken full advantage of their opportunities in Washington, Peterson will have a chance to receive the bulk of the work alongside third-down back Chris Thompson.