Adrian Peterson NFL slave talk criticized by real former slave
Can we all agree now that Adrian Peterson's NFL lockout talk about players being "slaves" was ill advised, at the very least?
And if you're not convinced, maybe Omilara Aribisala can change your mind. She's a fifth-year defensive end for a Washington, D.C., women's semi-pro team called the Divas, and idle talk about slavery cuts a little too close to the bone for her.
As a 12-year-old innocently sent overseas by her parents in Lagos, Nigeria, looking for the American dream, she tells the Washington City Paper, she was instead forced to work for years as an unpaid servant for a wealthy family in a D.C. suburb, doing everything imaginable short of breastfeeding their baby. Letters home were forbidden.
"I'd get through the day thinking each night that this isn't happening, this isn't my life," she says. "I'd close my eyes and say that when I wake up this will all disappear, and Daddy's going to come on a plane and take me away from here! But this was my life. Daddy never came."
As we noted earlier, Peterson's use of the term "slavery," made to a Yahoo Sports writer, caused such a stink that the word was actually cut from the story in which it first appeared -- but restored later. Writer Doug Farrar took to Twitter to try and explain the thinking behind that move:
@OntheDLpodcast I've made the decision on my own to take the quote out for now -- the rest of the piece will get buried in one huge misstep
@OntheDLpodcast I don't think he meant it in the way it's going to come across, but the word itself is a problem.
Peterson doesn't believe NFL jocks are real slaves. He was trying to vent some frustrations with the lockout. And Aribisala says she's a big Peterson fan. But, "He wouldn't use that word if he'd tasted real slavery," she says. "I lived it."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.