On March15, the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson called the NFL “modern-day slavery” during an interview with Yahoo! Sports.

“It’s modern-day slavery, you know?” Peterson said. “People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money, the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money.”

His comment was later removed from the article. However, news outlets and blogs across the nation reported on Peterson’s quote and most vehemently disagreed with the star running back’s words.

The opportunity to earn millions of dollars for playing a game is something that only a handful of fortunate individuals get a chance to experience. It doesn’t come close to the mental and physical hardships of slavery.

But the racial dynamics in today’s sports can’t be ignored. Whenever a professional league is comprised of mostly black players that are employed by white owners, conflict can occur when the two sides disagree on issues.

And when it comes to the NFL, owners are insensitive to the players who earn them billions.

An NFL player’s career lasts about three years on average, while NFL owners maintain their position for 18 years. As a result, players are replaced quickly and often face health issues once their playing days are over. With high divorce rates and chronic health ailments, some retired NFL players are living close to the poverty level.

The NFL has become a $9 billion industry, but the owners are unwilling to provide proper compensation to the players who have made the league what it is today. –amir shaw