Roger Goodell was asked about Peterson's comments, which were made to Yahoo! Sports last week during an interview about the impending NFL lockout. In an interview with SB Nation, the commissioner responded with a politically neutral statement befitting the son of a Senator:
"Adrian Peterson was at the draft a few years ago as one of the first drafts I was a commissioner. He's an outstanding man and I have nothing but respect for him. I'm a big fan of his both as an individual and a player. "
In other words, Goodell heard the comments, he has an opinion about them and he's not going to share them with the public.
Rashard Mendenhall(notes) had no such qualms. The Pittsburgh Steelers running back responded to Peterson's comments on his Twitter account and unlike fellow players Ryan Grant(notes) and Heath Evans(notes), Mendenhall supported the comparison:
Well Rashard, I don't know about that. I'd say it's less deep. One part of the analogy involves forced servitude under threat of injury and death. The other is something that's a goal and a dream for millions of people and pays a league minimum of $325,000 per year. Signing a rookie contract that binds you to a team for three years isn't equivalent to wearing chains.
To his credit, Mendenhall responded to critical Tweets from his followers (he also retweeted some supportive comments). It was done with the same skewed logic and Twitter lingo, but at least he didn't hide behind his statement like Peterson.
Posted Jul 2 2012
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