Bernie Bytes: NFL players need to zip it

BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If the people who run the NFL Players Association have any brains at all, they'll send out e-mails to every player ASAP, advising them to be careful to avoid making mindless, knucklehead comments that turn into negative headlines. In the latest installment of NFLPA idiocy, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson equated the NFL players' current plight to "modern-day slavery." And Peterson was backed up on the comparison by Pittsburgh Stteelers RB Rashard Mendenhall.

How's that for perspective? I'll have to check my history books to confirm, but I don't believe Harriet Tubman had a five-year, $40.5 million contract, with $17 million guaranteed, awaiting her when she completed her trips through the Underground Railroad. That's what Peterson received from the Vikings. Perhaps a modern-day Frederick Douglass will emerge to lead the modern-day abolitionist movement to free modern-day NFL players from being held against their will, beaten and forced to work at hard labor with with no compensation. Perhaps if the NFLPA's litigation makes it to the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals here in St. Louis, we can have a re-enacment of the Dred Scott trial, with Peterson as the plaintiff.

Or perhaps Peterson and his "union" blood brothers can do some research, learn something and perhaps discover that slavery still exists today in assorted parts of the world. It hasn't gone away. So the "modern-day" reference is absurd because it suggests that slavery is a horror of the past.

I mean this sincerely: Peterson is a good man, but he's letting the anger of the situation get the best of him, causing him to completely lose perspective. So perhaps other players can learn from this. By making such outrageous comments, these guys are not only embarrassing themselves, but they are hurting the NFLPA cause. The best thing players and owners can do is move to the side, put an end to the spin, and stop talking nonsense to generate noise. Here's an idea: instead of talking junk, why not talk to each instead, and maybe we can have a deal.