When Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said the owners and players relationship was like “modern-day slavery,” we overlooked his choice of words to find the point we figured he was trying to make. Unfortunately for Philadelphia Eagles fullback Leonard Weaver, we cannot excuse his words expressed on CSN Philadelphia during a recent interview.
Speaking with Derrick Gunn Tuesday via Pro Football Talk, Weaver said “We as players want to make a statement that you know what, we love playing for you all, we love your owners, you know? We love you guys very much, but at the same time we need to see some equal opportunity here and stop treating us basically like Adrian Peterson said, like slaves.”
Aside from agreeing with Peterson’s choice of comparison, Weaver comes across as thoughtful and intelligent. The problem is unlike Peterson, Weaver’s speech cannot be excused. Peterson was speaking right after the lockout was declared and he was likely highly emotional. He used a regrettable comparison, but the point that the players aren’t treated fairly is valid. If that’s the message Leonard Weaver wanted to convey, he lost everybody as soon as he agreed with Peterson.
It’s one thing to complain about a lack of health coverage and point out that players put their lives on the line when they take the field, but consciously comparing the relationship to slavery is just plain off. The owners may be making away with all kinds of money and may be super rich, but the players have plenty of rights and are handsomely compensated. They’re not being treated fairly by the owners, but likening the situation to slavery has little validity. Until saying that, Weaver was doing just fine in his interview.