NFL News and Rumors: Chad Ochocinco to Soccer and Adrian Peterson on Slavery

Zach Kruse@@zachkruse2Senior Analyst IMarch 16, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 28: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings runs against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 28, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

While Chad Ochocinco making headlines in the NFL is hardly a new phenomenon, the typically quiet Adrian Peterson stole the show on Tuesday with some rather insensitive comments. 

Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings All-Pro running back, sounded off to Yahoo! Sports and Football Outsiders columnist Doug Farrar about his thoughts on the lockout and the rest of the NFL's current labor situation. 

Peterson speaking his mind on a national stage is rare enough, but a few of his comments probably ensured he'll be quiet for the foreseeable future. When asked about the status of the players, Peterson had this to say:

"It's modern-day slavery, you know? 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."

Obviously, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand how misguided and uninformed those comments are—even if Peterson feels he's been misunderstood. 

In this day and age of social media and immediate news, Peterson's comments are like gasoline on a fire. Within minutes of Farrar linking the article on Twitter, reader commentary on the slavery quotes were bashing Peterson left and right and Farrar ended up taking down the quotes within a half-hour of posting them. 

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It was a professional move by Farrar, but even his best attempts to backtrack for Peterson weren't enough. He's been thrashed by the media and, maybe most importantly, his own peers.

Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant responded with a series of tweets setting the record straight on an issue Peterson should have never brought up. 

Overall, we know Peterson is wrong. To compare playing football to slavery is disingenuous and pretty insensitive to something that still stings this country's history. 

However, it also gives us an interesting perspective on how upset the players actually are.

It's no excuse for Peterson, but his comments might give us more perspective on the labor situation than they do on his character. 

Ochocinco to Kansas City?

No, the Cincinnati Bengals aren't nearing a trade with the Chiefs for the flamboyant receiver. But with the lockout looming, Chad Ochocinco is giving a try at a different form of football. 

Major League Soccer's Sporting Kansas City has offered Ochocinco a four-day tryout, with a chance for a further look if he passes the initial tests.

Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said this about Ochocinco:

"We're always searching for players who can help our team and bringing in new talent. We know that Chad is an exceptional athlete and that he loves the sport of soccer, and he did play a lot when he was younger. We're excited to see how his skills will translate once he arrives next week and begins training with our team."

With Ochocinco involved and the MLS starving for attention, this is probably nothing more than a public relations experiment to keep the receiver in the news and give Sporting KC a couple of major headlines. 

However, it's a sad commentary on the MLS that this is even a story. 

Can you imagine any professional league in the United States that would try to pull off a stunt like this? 

If the MLS were locked out next season, would Landon Donovan be trying out at running back for the Oakland Raiders? I guess you never know with owner Al Davis—but the point here is that an idea like that is just crazy. 

In the ESPN story, Ochocinco states that he "started playing soccer at age four" and is "friends with big names in soccer such as Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho." 

It goes on to state that Ochocinco "uses a soccer ball to warm up for NFL games."

Of course, this isn't a knock on ESPN. Those are just the only ties Ochocinco has to any sort of credibility in the soccer world. 

Surely, playing the game as a youngster, having friends at the highest ranks and warming up with a soccer ball qualifies you to play as a professional. 

And we wonder why the MLS is a joke in this country. I'll stick to watching the likes of Barclay's Premier League in England.

For the sake of the league, let's hope Ochocinco doesn't get past the already embarrassing four-day tryout this week. 

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