White Paper—Tikeena Sturdivant

Topic/Background: In an interview conducted by Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner regarding the National Football League’s lockout, Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson referred to himself as a “modern day slave” and continued by implying that, “… owners [of sport teams] are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money.” Peterson then inferred that he was a “40 million dollar slave.” During the National Football League’s many players lost their position on their football team due to the decrease in funding being made possible by the owners of football teams. Because of the funding being cut many players noticed a large decrease in salary for those affected seasons. Peterson justifies his comments by comparing owners of football teams to slaves and slave owners.

Counter-Argument: One could argue that Peterson’s perceptive is exaggerated because being forced to be a slave and being a running back for the National Football League is completely different. Slaves were made to work for hours on end without pay, very little food and worked in horrible working conditions whereas a professional running back is paid millions of dollars and is not forced to work, if they no longer want to play they can pay a fee and terminate their contract. Peterson’s comment can be seen as insensitive because it seems as though he is down- playing the hardships of what the enslaved went through by comparing them to celebrities. One could also argue that Peterson could leave the team at his leisure; if he wanted Peterson could transfer to another team instead of feeling as though he was a “modern day slave.”  Slavery was abolished in 1863 after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation since then blacks have faced many obstacles such as discrimination, segregation, racism and unequal rights. Blacks did not have the right to vote nor did they have the right to eat or work where they pleased, how could this be compared to having a forty million dollar contract and being looked up to as a pillar of a community while having celebrity status.

Slave Attributes: Slaves were “drafted” based on there intelligence, physical strength, skills, and state of health. Before football players are drafted by any NFL team, they must give team owners an insight on their strengths and skills. This is done at the combine, which is the “pre-drafting stage” in which the inspiring football players receive their very last chance to be seen. These football players are drafted based on the same attributes of a slave.

A Slave making millions of dollars: Slaves made very little money if any, compared to a NFL football player. Before reading the article I was already led to believe that Adrian Peterson’s comment had more to do with the way he was being treated and not how much he was making. A slave making millions of dollars is unheard of.

Current state of research paper: If I’m not careful my paper will consist of multiple opinions instead of actual research. Researching the history of slavery to better my understanding will help me see where Adrian Peterson’s comment might have came from. I plan on looking into details concerning a athlete being compared to a slave.

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1 Response to White Paper—Tikeena Sturdivant

  1. davidbdale says:

    This is your best writing for the course, Tikeena. It demonstrates that you have the ability to do college writing.
    Grade recorded.

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