Does Adrian Peterson Need to Zip It?


Dec 30, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) smiles following the game against the Green Bay Packers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Packers 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

We now know exactly where Adrian Peterson stands on a pair of controversial issues related to homosexuality. He is against gay marriage. That’s one. He is also fine with having a gay teammate but not necessarily that fine with having to shower alongside a gay teammate. That’s two.

Do I agree or disagree with Adrian’s positions? That’s immaterial. Everyone has their own opinions on those things. Chris Kluwe has his opinions and like AD he isn’t afraid to voice them. And some hail him as a hero for his willingness to speak out.

Some also hail Matt Birk as a hero for boycotting the Ravens’ White House appearance in protest over the president’s remarks in favor of planned parenthood. Others slam Birk as a grandstanding putz whose attitudes are straight out of the 1950s.

It’s all about perspective. One thing we agree on? Each man is entitled to his opinion. Each man has the perfect right to speak out in public. And each man has to expect a certain amount of backlash as a result of his stances.

I’m sure Adrian Peterson gets that. I’m sure he realizes that some people will now perceive him as a homophobic bigot. I’m sure he gets that his image will take a hit in the eyes of some fans. But he keeps speaking out anyway.

Of course not everyone is created equal when it comes to voicing an opinion. Chris Kluwe is a thoughtful guy who has a certain way with words (especially the four-letter ones). He makes you think at the same time he’s making you laugh.

Adrian Peterson? His statements don’t really provoke thought. They’re not as reasoned as Kluwe’s. They’re more like blurtings. Patrick Reusse has suggested that Adrian should probably learn to curb his vociferous tendencies and just play football. Not because Adrian is wrong necessarily but because his off-the-cuff way of speaking tends to make him look like a moron.

I am certain Adrian Peterson is not a moron. I am also certain that he is rather clumsy at extemporaneous speaking. Adrian’s problem isn’t so much the substance of what he’s saying, it’s the style.

So my thing on this is simple. If Adrian doesn’t mind coming across like a crackpot possible-homophobe halfwit? Then why should I mind? Let him keep going as long as he’s willing to take the heat. The Vikings I’m sure would prefer he shut up just as they preferred Chris Kluwe shut up. Of course the Vikings are less concerned with politics and morality than merchandise sales. Kluwe’s antics didn’t hurt much in that department but Adrian’s blurtings might.

And that’s why I imagine Rick Spielman will be sitting Adrian down and having a little chat with him. We’ll see if Adrian listens. We’ll see if, from now on, he learns to say “no comment.” Sometimes that’s the best thing you can do. Even if, yes, you have the right to speak your mind.

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