Dear Rashard. Delete your Twitter.

A few days ago Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said about the NFL labor dispute:

“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.”

Of course after several NFL players publicly disagreed with the statement, the usual backpedaling happened, with his agent claiming it was taken out of context, and some saying surely Peterson didn’t mean what he said in THAT way.

Maybe he didn’t. I should point out that Peterson is set to earn ten million dollars this year.

Now, in an epic display of WHY THE HELL PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES SHOULD NOT HAVE TWITTER ACCOUNTS UNLESS THEY ARE ONLY TWEETING PICTURES OF CUTE BABY ANIMALS, Rashard Mendenhall tweeted from his verified account:

This of course enraged many people asking how being paid millions to do something you love is anywhere near the same thing as being FORCED to do something you hate and not getting paid for it.

Rashard then decided the best way to explain his thoughts was to call us all a bunch of dumb asses and tell us to look up the word “parallel” in the dictionary:

If you visit Rashard’s Twitter page right now, you’ll see he’s taken to retweeting anyone that writes anything in support of him. How magnanimous of him.

First, I strongly disagree with his “mirror each other” comment because, just no. NO NO NO NO. You cannot tell me that a football player can EVER look a slave in the eyes, as there is modern day slavery, and say, “Brother. I may be earning ten million dollars a year to play 16 football games a year, but, brah, I know what you’re going through because I’m traveling a parallel path.” My god, I hope the slave punches that guy in the face.

They run the same course? Unless the course Mendy is running ends up with him having no freedom, no way to earn an income, no way to see his family, then I really don’t think they’re running the same course.  There is one huge word that means they ARE NOT running parallel courses … CHOICE. NFL players have choices. Slaves have none.

 

 

Classic KettlePotism. Rashard should take his own advice and not compare himself to a slave based on things he’s read, because unless he actually IS A SLAVE, he just sounds dumb.

Second, even if you see Rashard’s point of view, as a public persona, you would think Rashard knows there are certain things you NEVER draw comparisons to, and you certainly don’t do it on Twitter where you’re limited to explaining how the NFL runs a similar course to slavery in 140 characters or less. Hitler. Holocaust. Slavery. To name a few.

Compare it to the steel industry in the early 1900s. Compare it to the baseball lockout of 1994. DON’T try to explain on Twitter why you’re comparing the NFL to slavery because you will lose that battle, no matter how many fans’ tweets you retweet.

And also, maybe don’t call us all a bunch of idiots who can’t comprehend the giant thoughts you have in your giant brain.

Because from where I’m sitting, we are not the idiots.





29 Comments

  1. Joe K.
    March 16, 2011 12:58 pm

    Allow me to attempt to play devil’s advocate for Mendenhall. Yes, I know playing football in the NFL is not slavery.

    But, the ownership in the NFL is saying: Do the same work for less money, despite the fact that the league is enormously popular and profitable.

    Anytime we see things like what’s going on in Wiscsonsin or Corbett asking teachers to take a pay freeze, it’s the same thing: Do the same work for less money.

    If you extend the idea of “Do the same work for less money” to its logical conclusion, you end up with slavery.



  2. stephen
    March 16, 2011 1:05 pm

    “Doing the same work for less money” is exactly what is happening with NFL players and Wisconsin teachers. Oh, also, EVERY OTHER JOB IN EXISTENCE. That tends to happen during a recession.

    I slightly side with the owners, if for no other reason that the owners have to think long-term while the players think short term. But the battles right now are reasonably esoteric enough that I can’t bring myself to care all that much.

    In any case, comparing football to slavery is stupid and obscene. More people should be denouncing him.



  3. mfj
    March 16, 2011 1:09 pm

    He’s already using words I don’t understand, like “eachother.”

    I get pissed when football players call themselves warriors, because unless you’re Pat Timman or Rocky Bleier, you ain’t a warrior. You’re an overpaid entertainer, there, Audie.

    Similarly, unless you came to training camp shackled in the hold of a clipper ship, you ain’t a f*$%ing slave. You’re an overpaid entertainer, there Kunta.



  4. mfj
    March 16, 2011 1:11 pm

    Tillman, I meant. I hate that you can’t redo your comments here.



  5. Mae
    March 16, 2011 1:14 pm

    If my company suddenly wanted to pay me less for the same work (or required more work at the same salary which happens to many people), it’s their prerogative. I don’t have to stay. Just like me, they could always find another job…

    The slavery comparison is appalling.



  6. Me
    March 16, 2011 1:26 pm

    I do like Rashard, but he’s sadly mistaken. The organization he works for has an owner (as does mine) but he is not owned. There’s nothing parallel about that.

    Also, if slavery meant earning millions of dollars, and retiring before 40, you could sign me up!



  7. sleepgh
    March 16, 2011 1:31 pm

    Did you just make up that word KettlePotism? I like it. I may steal it.



  8. T
    March 16, 2011 1:36 pm

    I’m embarrassed by his lack of sensitivity and judgement on his comments. How utterly appaling and self righteous. There are thousands if not millions of football players who would give a limb in order to play in the NFL if they had the talent. In my opinion, paying these players millions of dollars is wrong. They are overpaid. Maybe if hey were paid a fraction of what they make now they would be able to tell their huge, oversized heads from their asses.



  9. gunnlino
    March 16, 2011 1:45 pm

    Mendenhall was partially educated at Illinois, majoring in Sports Management,no degree listed.

    Peterson was partially educated a Oklahoma, no major or degree listed that I could find.

    Neither finished college ( no crime, just sayin’)
    For either of these thugs to run their mouths like they have any idea what they’re taking about is an affront to all those who suffered and died.
    Stepping off soapbox now.



  10. HorseShoeBend
    March 16, 2011 2:20 pm

    Wow. Nothing to say on this topic beyond that.

    In other breaking news today (via cnn.com) –

    The Pope got a facebook page today. Yep, it’s true. You’ll find it mixed in major headlines on cnn with news on Japan.

    Also, Uma Thurman has a huge rack. That was news to me anyways.



  11. Scott
    March 16, 2011 2:29 pm

    Uma Thurman is a GODDESS!



  12. annoymous
    March 16, 2011 2:44 pm

    I work for UPMC. They have a lot of money. I see articles about how the president has a helicopter and all sorts of good things.

    Last year they made us take a pay freeze for 6 months or a year, depending on when we got our last raise. To do the same work.

    Now they’re cutting back on staff due to ‘hard economic times’ and we’re left scrambling for nurses. It’s close to being on the borderline of unsafe.

    Do NFL players do that? Do they save lives?

    We save lives.

    We should be paid. Just saying.



  13. asl87
    March 16, 2011 2:46 pm

    Comparisons that need to never be made again:

    – “……is JUST like Rosa Parks!”

    – ” …is like a … Hitler.”

    – ” ….is like Slavery!”

    Statements like these are idiotic and intellectually dishonest. No, your mean boss is not just like Hitler. No, working in the NFL is not like being torn from your homeland, enslaved, beaten, raped, and humiliated.

    See: Godwin’s Law

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law



  14. burgher-licious
    March 16, 2011 2:46 pm

    I haven’t had a raise in 3 years but have been expected to take on more work while at the same time pay more taxes and more into my healthcare plan. “Do the same work for less money” unfortunately is the norm for most people not protected by unions. And most of us DON’T get paid millions to play a game.



  15. bucdaddy
    March 16, 2011 2:51 pm

    Up there with:

    “I got a family to feed.”

    — L. Sprewell



  16. Joe K.
    March 16, 2011 2:58 pm

    @ Me #6:

    You might not make it to age 40. See: Justin Strzelczyk.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Strzelczyk

    The players are not overpaid. People willingly pay $100+ for seats and TV willingly pays billions for the right to cover it. This is an accurate reflection of how much our culture worships youth and competition. The players are getting their fair share of the revenue, which is why the owners hate it.

    @ Stephen #2: There’s a recession, but not in the NFL, it’s more profitable and popular than ever.



  17. Momma
    March 16, 2011 3:13 pm

    I have no sympathy for NFL owners or players. In the end…they will still make millions!

    Most of us will not….not in our lifetime!



  18. Me
    March 16, 2011 3:33 pm

    @ Joe K.

    There are no guarantees in life that ANYONE will make it past 40! And you can be killed sitting in your office as in a seemingly safe career such as that of a secretary. See: Towers, World Trade. Not to mention any number of truly dangerous low paying jobs. See: Mining, Coal. Or Soldier, Combat.

    The choice to play football for a living, is just that: A CHOICE. Not even close to slavery. No parallel-ism, or parallelogram, even. And you paid pretty darn well to make that choice. Other people make choices in their professions as well that can have life-shortening consequences. Comparing anything other than actual slavery to slavery, is truly unseemly. Especially for someone who is well compensated for their supposed “slave” job. Do the players possibly have a beef with the owners, sure. I don’t know all the inner workings, but I do know for sure that Mr. Mendenhall is NOT in any way, shape or form, in any position, parallel or otherwise that is anything like a slave. If he has any ancestors that were truly slaves, they would be rolling over in their graves at the comparison.



  19. empirechick
    March 16, 2011 3:35 pm

    Joe K – you are correct, economically speaking. It is sad, however, that as a culture we value entertainment so much more than actual worth to society.

    It’s just hard to hear millionaires argue with billionaires about how to split the enormous pie.



  20. cityworker
    March 16, 2011 3:52 pm

    few points…

    1) you don’t like your pay you can find a job somewhere else/NFL players don’t like their pay they don’t have an option
    2) Players get DRAFTED out of college. When you entered the job market a company did not get to select you and have the SOLE negotiating rights with you, you could shop around for the best, highest paying job/NFL players can only negotiate with one time and are forced to take the best off the team gives
    3) Not many average workers sign contracts. As previously stated you can work whereever you want. in the NFL you have to sign a contract with one of the 32 teams and that team can cut you at anytime and not fulfill it, however you can not go out while under contract and look for more money.



  21. oh please
    March 16, 2011 4:35 pm

    @cityworker,

    NFL players certainly do have an option; they can STOP being football players if the working conditions vs. salary do not seem fair.



  22. Noelle
    March 16, 2011 4:38 pm

    If you don’t post this hottie CMU professor I just may bust from curiosity. I’m gonna start crawling around campus looking at everyone through the windows…



  23. cityworker
    March 16, 2011 4:43 pm

    @oh please

    I just agree that there are parallels. It is obviously not the same. I don’t see why everyone has to talk in such axiums about issues. Yes he can stop being a football play just like you can stop your job and i can stop my job.



  24. Me
    March 16, 2011 4:43 pm

    @cityworker —

    Sounds kinda close to life in the military. Aside from the drafting — at least these days — part. And the, what, $325,000 minimum wage?

    Still, players CAN actually get another job. It would just pay a lot less. They DO still have a choice. May not be a good one, but one does still exist for them.

    Still not anywhere, in any universe, parallel or otherwise, comparable with slavery.



  25. Smooter
    March 16, 2011 4:54 pm

    cityworker:
    1) NFL players can’t play in the CFL? In the Arena football league, or the european football league? They can’t get into coaching? They can’t, heaven forbid, work outside of football? Nah, no options there…
    2) Most people would love to be drafted by a company, instead of having to search countless postings and ads to only be turned down again and again for a job. Let alone one that starts off in the six figures. When it’s an elite company (NFL) doing the drafting though, most normal folk with a level head wouldn’t really care if it were in the shipping department or what branch or for how long (team) to START making your first year more than most will see in their lifetime. Then, after a couple years, you have the option to pursue negotiations.
    3) A lot of companies that invest in heavy training, or fresh out of college training, require no compete clauses signed at hiring. If you leave that company for any reason, even if fired, you’re not allowed to work for any company in the same field of work for several years. And, once again, no one forced these players to play in the NFL. Anyone could continue their college career, get into coaching, or join any other league, or other profession around the world.

    All that being said, I side with more of the player arguments for the negotiating than the owners. I just like playing devil’s advocate :)



  26. Will C
    March 16, 2011 6:16 pm

    You guys might be a little too emotionally invested in the dude’s twitter account.

    Not saying you can’t have an opinion, but it seems a little ridiculous to be making comments about how hard us regular joes are working and getting paid nothing… before 5:00 PM.. that is unless everyone here has a cushy job that lets them off at noon.



  27. Aileen
    March 16, 2011 9:29 pm

    What I want to know is this: how close was Rashard’s locker to the former WR of the Steelers, Santanio Holmes? I’m thinking maybe some of the stupidity leaked out and wormed its way over to Mendenhall’s locker.

    If I’m an NFL owner, I’d make some concessions if the NFLPA would convince its membership to stay off of Twitter.



  28. unsatisfied
    March 16, 2011 10:09 pm

    rashard.

    step away from the twitter…..



  29. Timmy
    March 17, 2011 10:40 pm

    I don’t understand the people in this thread complaining about their employer freezing wages, while bashing these players for taking a stand. YOU ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE. If you had the leverage that these players do, you wouldn’t have to take your wage freezes or personnel cuts. Don’t be envious of their position… appreciate that they are fighting the same fight as you.