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SLAVERY -- and football?
Ok... so I was having some debates with the users of nfl.com... that's a tough one to try and convince them that Adrian Peterson's comments that equated the NFL's labor disputes to "modern slavery" in an interview recently had some merits. 

What do you all think?  Does a professional athelete, playing a game, have any right to equate his job making 40 million over 6 years to "Modern Slavery"?

Does any worker making 6.66 Million / year have a right to call his job modern slavery... those are loaded words and apparently, those individuals on the nfl.com website are having none of it.  Does anyone else see where he is coming from like me?  Or not? 
I would have been curious to hear what merits you thought the argument has, Tom.

I don't see how his words can even be taken seriously.  Peterson is paid a huge sum of money to do a job that he is free to quit at any time.  The fact that he gets paid to play a game that he's probably loved since childhood even puts to rest any argument based on vague interpretations of slavery that imply drudgery of some sort.
Adrian Peterson should come up to Canada and play a season in the CFL, where the average salary is under $100 000 a year. I'm sure it will do wonders for his perspective.

It's a better deal for fans too. Game tickets start around $40 (that will just about cover your parking at an NFL game!), and the players (who are mostly products of the American collegiate system who couldn't find a home in the NFL) aren't spoiled prima donnas. If you ask nicely you can probably get an autograph. Also, Canadian rules are better  ;)

Chalmers Johnson once said that everyone knew the Roman Empire was finished when chefs became celebrities  (to see how we're doing turn on the Food Network!) I often have that feeling in regard to our society's attitude toward entertainers (and yes, professional athletes are basically entertainers). I have a great deal of difficulty sympathizing with someone whose complaining of "only" being paid well over $6 million a year to play a game while people who are doing work that is arguably of much greater social value, like teachers and nurses, get paid in a year what Adrian Peterson probably spends in country club fees.

On the plus side, if the lockout continues maybe Canadian football will get a little more exposure in the US.

No, I don't really believe that will happen, either  :)

In response to Emma Brock
Cool replies, he would likely find football much more different in Canada...certainly.  But Canda kicks butt and funds Arts Education, not sports like our scholarship system here in the states does. 

I think that AP's comments are less weighty than if a factory worker had said it.  All I am saying is that people are very quick to abate the term, "modern slavery" or anything connoting American slavery.  Although I find it dangerous to conflate such realities like playing professional football with American slavery of the 1600 - well, really...1970, I find it far more dangerous when people flip out and immediatly disregard AP's statements without the slightest bit of scrutiny.  

I am a firm supporter of the working-man, and will never in my entire life find empathy for the owners of a pro-football team, and their kin: Wall Street.  I also believe firmly in the notion of modern slavery and its pervasive and exploitative nature on modern humans, and our innate creativity and spirituality.   The NFL made 9 billion in excess revenue last year and cannot figure out how to split this money.  Although players make absorbident amounts of money to 'play a game,' the owners of such players make more to 'watch a game."  Obviously the realities are different and both players and owners do far more than that.   

The fact that players are drafted out of college (yes, willingly and excitedly) by rich white men who thus OWN these individuals (ie, their jersey sales, their intellectual property, their bodies, their faces, their hair... they get to market them however they want).  FINE, so does my employer, I get it... he took a huge risk to make the money he made, is nice enough to give me a job, and in turn, he ownes everything I do for him and get compensated for it.  However, its all relative.  

AP makes millions but generates 2x that for his owner... if not more.  As do I.  I get paid $15.00 an hour as a legal assistant, and make my boss easily 3 times that on a daily basis.  That's the fact that needs to be addressed as modern slavery.  The fact of the matter is I went to college to pay for tuition that is currently 10x the inflation rate, took out a loan from Fannie and Freddie (oh thank you!!! I could have never done it without you!!!  Actually, yes I could have had college been affordable), and currently pay off that loan that makes Fannie and Freddie even more money than they have... which is billions.  So when I take home $1600/month in wages, I pay 4/5 that to STUDENT LOANS, a CAR PAYMENT, RENT, FOOD, and UTILITIES.  All of that money going to benefit the allready rich.   Measely old me is left  with $400!!!  Wow, I will be able to invest in my retirement real good, aw shux! 

Oh thank you NFL!!! I could have never done it without you!!!  Actually, yes they could have if the public owned the damn thing, or better yet, the players owned the entire thing.

The point that I am trying to make is that AP feels relatively like a modern slave.  As normal people, we scoff and say... he makes millions!!! stop whining!  Well, in fact, AP will likely have to pay for his medical bills out of pocket because the League will do nothing to insure its players, effects bottom line, same with our corporations.  And it was not until a c.1990 Supreme Court decision that made it mandatory for the league to allow Free Agency.  So when you say he has the right to quit whenever he wants, that's not correct.  Not unless he forfeits any unguaranteed money. 

Again, its tough for me to make this point becuase its super touchy and complicated... but modern slavery exisists.  It exists everywhere in my opinion, in the states at least.   Its called capitalism.  I work my ass off so that I can buy things that Rupert Murdoch tells me I need.  I work my ass off, pay ridiculous taxes to pay for two wars and provide tax breaks to oil companies, and meanwhile, AP and the rest  of the NFL's millionaires pay the same damn tax bracket your parents do making $200,000.  That's god damn slavery.  yes I said it!!  Not American slavery with whips and death and murder, but modern capitalism slavery... the slavery of which ties me to the chains of consermism and materialism.  I even try my damndest to avoid having material things, but I cant live without a car, I can't get a job without a suit... 

AP made a point that is refeutable.  But god damn it, everyone is so quick to jump his throat like he's a moron.  I think he made a darn intellectual point.  He (although really rich) is a WORKER, and he is battling against his OWNER.  Its frickin Marx.  And again, I will forever side with the WORKERS, I am one, and will never ever ever ever have any sort of sympanthy for the Owner of a multi million dollar corporation who pays the same tax bracket as a small busienss owner.  That is modern slavery...

I just dont' want people to be so quick to jump his throat.  That's what Rupert Murdoch and company want us to do.  They want us to be divided against one another, wehn in fact, he represents one in the same... he represents me, just on a larger scale.  So, god damnit, thank you AP for making a comment so absurd as to at least generate this awareness. 

And maybe its just me, but I am not so soon to forget how Wall Street raided my fucking retirement fund that I worked my ass off to maintain... so that I could simply live quietly and enjoy my freedoms.  But they could not even let that shit happen.  I am sorry, but as ot 2010, capitalism has exploded into this uncontrollable monster that not only exists with greed, but demands it.  A greed that forced people to buy homes without the capital to do so, so that Fannie and Freddie and AIG's balance sheets would appear inflated.. As such, people bought their stock, the owners of the companies off-shored all their earnings before the crash, and bam, we are left to pick up the pieces.

I just will never let 2008 go as long as I live.  I lived through the worst economic malfiesence in the history of the world... criminals got away with murder... and we even still support these damn criminals!  Modern slavery includes AP and it includes you and I... Unless ur the head of a trans-national corporation.  Then you guys are doing fine.   How soon do we forget the transgressions of the vile, uninhibited, and never-wrong MARKET principles of the invisible hand?  How soon do we forget that our 401K and pensions, that we paid for!, were raided by our OWNERS.   How soon do we elect the same scum into office during our midterm elections that started this mess?  All under the guise of the Constitution.  Fuckin get real... the 16th amendment was not a part of the constitution for a long time.  These same scum that say, "Government stay out of my business" are the same scum that had their 401ks raided.. they are factory workers and gun-totin male racist sexists... and they are so confused that they elected the same Republican party into majority 2 years after they bankrupt our country. 

WE ARE BANKRUPT!!!!!!!!!  That's the frame from which I am talking when I say, Fuck yes AP, you are correct!  


p.s... please don't hate me for getting passionate and probablly being wrong about 50% of what I just typed. :)
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Latest Post: March 24, 2011 at 2:11 PM
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