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Mendenhall Takes a Beating for Comments Pushing the NFL-Slavery Button

Seems that lately NFL players are starting to try and make comparisons of the current NFL lockout to that of slavery. First it was Adrian Peterson, Vikings running back, who said via Twitter – “It’s modern-day slavery, you know?”

Then it was Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall, who opened up another can of worms with the following Tweet. “Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other.”

Uh oh.

Mendenhall took a lot of shot for the comments, and now is trying to explain what he meant by the comments, stating that he in no way meant the NFL was like slavery.

“If you look back and dissect what I said, I [didn’t] say that the NFL was slavery, I said that they parallel each other. Look up the word parallel.”

“This means that they’re not the same thing, but they run the same course. These paths will never cross, but they mirror each other.”

“I could break down how, but that would take an amount of ideology and big words that a lot of you wouldn’t understand.”

Mendenhall in the past has been nothing but well spoken and usually is a good interview. Why he would try to jump on Peterson’s comments is beyond me. Seems that this lockout is starting to get the better of players to the point where they have lost their minds and are starting to say things that make no sense whatsoever.

Hopefully the rash of feedback that Mendenhall is getting will tell him that he should just do what most players are doing – stay quiet and let this thing play out.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. Willoughby Spitt

    March 17, 2011 at 11:29 am

    First of all, his name is spelled Mendenhall. The name is misspelled in the article title. Secondly, I could care less about what Rashard said as I’m more concerned about the fact that I had emailed Matt Loede a few weeks back about the pick the Steelers season total wins & losses contest which started BEFORE the 2010 NFL season & I STILL have not receieved a response from him about the winner nor do I know who supposedly won the overall contest. Great website here, I see. A place for true blue Steelers fans. Thanks, Matt. Keep up the good work! ( in my most extreme sarcastic tone of voice )

  2. Jim boscaino

    March 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Rashard Please dont go there its starting to get old when ever time something of national news the race card is played! Slavery was way before my time so lets move on without it thank you.jim go steelers!

  3. Ed

    March 18, 2011 at 12:24 am

    I’m a white man and agree with Medenhall and his remarks. The union busting GOP party is a nazi regime that needs to be put in its place. Football players are just intertainment for the rich. Kill yourself out there and get someone else. Teachers, firemen, and police on attack by the right. I hope the players stike for ten years and get all they want. The Jimmy Jones of world need to suffer for there slavery adgendas.

  4. Ed

    March 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    First the white man killed the Indians and took there land. Then most white races where given names warp, ghini, etc. That was the English thinking they where better than other white races. Workers in Pittsburgh in the mills and coal mines where treated like dogs for slave labor. Unions came into existance and working people got some fairness. Now we have the attack on the middle class. Wall street and the bankers got us into this mess and its Obama’s fault and the nurses, firemen, police. It has always been and always will be the rich white man looking for cheap labor to make money. We went to Vietnam to fight communisn and lost. Now in the so called world economy China has all the good paying middle class jobs. Again the rich white man looking for cheap labor. Meddenhal is just addressing the truth the owners want to make money the game dosen’t mean a thing to them. Please don’t give me the Rooney thing they love money too. It’s called capitalism, profit is the bottom line and get anyway you can.

    • Jay

      March 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

      Dude, it’s FOOTBALL! Okay, no one is happy about this mess but to make cultural parallels to nazis and third reich this and despotism that…C’mon, I mean sure it resembles some of these traits at microcomsic levels but at the end of the day it’s still flippin’ football! We all wake up kiss our wives and children and go to work but the NFL has no real practical bearing on our lives save for entertainment and the idea to couple it with cultural epochs and phenomena where people actually suffered and lost their lives is absurd. Get another hobby, ED!

  5. DrGeorge

    March 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    My, my, my — so much rant and so little logic. The last time I looked, the idea of being in business was to make a profit. Profit is what’s left over after paying all costs and expenses, including labor. When the Chief paid $3500 for the original franchise, he received no money back guarantee of success. When Dan Rooney II assembled new financing to buy out minority shareholders last year in order to keep the franchise intact and in Pittsburgh, he got no guarantee the franchise would continue to prosper. He took a big risk. His premium for taking that risk is profit. If any business fails to make a profit, it won’t survive for long. No one would invest in an NFL franchise without the likelihood of profit. Without profit, there would be no NFL jobs, and players would work at regular jobs after college, like the rest of us.

    Those players who happily accepted millions to play and who are now taking cheap shots at the hand that feeds them are not only ungrateful to the team and fans that support them, but extremely short-sighted as well. Dumb comments stated publicly last forever. They will not be forgotten. There is no tenure in the NFL. Next year, they could be on the outside looking in. Malcontents always get cut first. And it’s hell getting back in. Ask Tiki Barber.

    Those who think capitalism is ripping off labor can always go form their league and pay labor any way they like. There are plenty of millionaire players around to finance it. (Remember the USFL and the old AFL?) Why don’t they try? Because they are afraid of failure. And that’s why owners are entitled to make and keep whatever profit they can. The present profit split with labor in the NFL is already more generous than in most industries. It is to the NFL’s own interest to pay for and field the best players they can find. That is what they already do, and they pay handsomely for it. On the other hand, players who cannot understand basic economics risk killing the golden goose, and that will not make more golden eggs.


    March 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Please ignore the comments by my friend Ed above. He didn’t take his meds today. This “Meddenhal” he speaks of must be a prophet. Or an idiot.

    Hold on…a rich person wants to get richer? Hmmm, that definitely only applies to those rich white guys, as Ed says. Other ethnic groups and races would never try to increase their net worth or try to capitalize on the weaknesses / inabilities of others.

    I guess I have a problem with ANY human being today making millions of dollars and comparing his or her job to slavery. I am sure that most slaves from any ethnic group, and any era of history, would also take offense to that comparison. The beauty of America is that if you feel your job is too risky or does not pay you enough, you have the inalienable right to seek another profession or employer.

    I am not on the owners’ or players’ side; I am more concerned that football will not be played. Every Sunday I get a few hours of reprieve from the fact that my salary has been frozen for four years and my position may be cut in the new fiscal year. But either way the Earth will still rotate on its axis and continue revolving around the sun, and we’ll all somehow survive. And as Ed says, the rich white guys will be holding all of us down.

  7. Ed

    March 19, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    My dear friends I took my meds by the way. Call it labor or slavery the rich white man controls you all. If you have bad breath this morning and he wants to fire you ” he will”. I hope for a class warfare that makes the desparity between classes more in line with fairness. Makes me sick watching them at there five star restarants and a three hundred bottle wine and people are living on a cup of rice. I guess the world will always suck ass to the rich man.

    • Jay

      March 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      you’re a douche bag!

  8. Pingback: Mendhall’s Tweeting Again; And Rooney’s Putting the Fire Out » Steelers Gab

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