Reusse's Reality: Adrian needs an off-the-field governor
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We all love Adrian Peterson for his talent, his competitiveness and his likeability. I'm beginning to wonder if he's been hit in the head too many times.
He doesn't have a governor, whether it's driving over 110 miles per hour for no apparent reason, or not knowing when to dead-end a conversation.
This didn't start with his recent seminars on gay marriage or how to deal with a gay teammate.
The really stupid thing he said came during the 2011 lockout, when Adrian offered this: "It's modern-day slavery, you know. People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs get treated the same way, too. With all the money ... the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money.''
I don't know what in Hades he was trying to say, and I don't think he did, either, but the headline became, "Vikings' superstar suggests NFL owners treating players like slaves in negotiations.''
Brilliant. Then, last month, Peterson was being interviewed on Sirius/XM NFL Radio by Bruce Murray and Amani Toomer. They must have run out of questions about Peterson's near miss of Eric Dickerson's all-time rushing record, so they used the departure of punter/gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe from the Vikings to ask Peterson his view on gay marriage.
To which a wise superstar would have said, "What do you say we talk some more football, fellas?,'' but Adrian jumped right in.
"To each his own ... I'm not with it,'' Peterson said. "But you know, I have relatives that are gay. I'm not biased towards them. I still treat them the same. I love 'em.''
Very good, Adrian. A couple of guys can get married, and you're OK with that, but you don't plan to do it yourself. We got it.
Next question? Nope.
"BUT ... again, I'm not with that,'' Peterson continued. "That's not something I believe in. But, to each his own. I'm sure the Vikings organization did not release [Kluwe] based on that. They know Kluwe. They've known him for a long time. They know he's outspoken.''
So, he doesn't believe in gay marriage, but he doesn't mind it. That wasa bit vague, but it was OK, since Adrian sure as heck was going to see the reaction and not expand on his views the next time he was asked.
Jason Kersey from The Oklahoman interviewed Peterson in Tulsa on Monday, where he was accepting a Henry Iba Citizen Athlete Award for excellence in sport and charitable work.
Now, Hank Iba's lousy coaching did cost the U.S. men's team the gold medal in the 1972 Olympics as much as did the cheaters from the international basketball federation, but there's never anything wrong with an athlete receiving a citizenship award.
In the spirit of the occasion, Kersey brought up the gay marriage comments on Sirius/XM, and then asked how Peterson would react to an openly gay teammate?
This would've been a great time for Adrian to say, "No reason go back to that. Can I put in a plug for my favorite charities, instead?''
Did our favorite football player take that approach? Of course not.
About that openly gay teammate, Peterson said: "Simple things, as far as showers and things like that, you know, of course, anyone would be uncomfortable. But you know, I'm a grown man. There's things that I can deal with. I'm comfortable in my skin.''
Also: "I'll still high-five them. Pat them on the butt when he's doing good, and go on about my business.''
That's the smartest thing Peterson had said in a month: He'll go on about his business.
As far as the showers and things like that, you can drop the disclaimers. We got it, Adrian: you're a flaming straight man.
Just because you play football without a governor doesn't make it a bad idea to have one on the speedometer, or this gay gabfest.