So Adrian Peterson compared the NFL to slavery the other day.
Now, I'm not sure exactly what his point was, but it doesn't really matter. The comparison is foolish. Even if there is an intellectual argument to be made for some sort of parallel between earning millions to play in the NFL and being bought and sold to perform labor at no cost, you have to know that virutally everyone on the planet will think you're an idiot for even trying to make the analogy.
That being said, the prevailing reaction to Peterson's inane comment reveals something uniquely peculiar about our culture.
All over the Internet people are dissing Peterson, not for the stupidity of his words but for the perceived good fortune he has been blessed with to play in the NFL.
He should just shut up and play ball. Lucky motherfucker. People would kill for that job.
This dismissive attitude just seems loaded with self-loathing to me.
Why do we value those who own shit so much more than workers who actually do shit, like NFL players?
Without workers, owners are pretty much worthless. They are sole proprietors, with no customers. Without workers, cars don't get made, microchips don't get improved upon, homes don't get built, food doesn't get harvested, clothing doesn't get designed, banks don't open and the porn industry is a bunch of old guys jerking off.
Oh, and NFL games don't get played.
How much fun would it be to watch a football game between Jerry Jones and Art Rooney? Or Al Davis and Paul Allen? Okay, it might be a little comical for about 2 minutes, but once all of their respective hips broke, it would lose its appeal, fast.
Owners need us every bit as much as we need them. But somehow, we've been convinced over the years that we should feel lucky to have a job. As if it were some act of charity that we didn't really deserve in the first place.
Fuck that shit. I'm not lucky to have a job. I'm good at what I do. I work hard. My job is lucky to have me. And I bet yours is too.
And yet, people are willing to put up with so much shit because they've been trained to think they are worthless cogs that can be replaced by the benevolent owners at any moment.
To make matters worse, that same ownership class single-handedly manufactured the great recession we are currently clawing our way out of today.
Why would they do this? Because they knew they would feel no pain from the recession. They knew they would be getting trillions of dollars in government bailout cash in return for the billions of dollars in campaign contributions they've shelled out over the years.
And the best part? They were rewarded with a worker class that is even more insecure and self-hating and therefore more likely to take whatever pile of feces gets thrown at them.
So, you know what? I support the NFL players as a matter of solidarity. While they may earn more in a year than I'll ever make in my lifetime, they are still workers. They are still the ones who make the product that we want to see every Sunday.
Unless they play for the Lions or the Browns. Because that shit is fucking unwatchable.