Mark Dayton apologizes for comparing troubled football players to soldiers back from war

PetersonIraqpic.jpg
Photos: Wikipedia.
One of these jobs looks slightly more dangerous than the other.

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    It's no secret that the Minnesota Vikings have a hard time staying out of trouble off the field. As we reported last year, between fights, DUIs, driving into traffic officers, and the infamous Sex Boat Scandal, the team leads the NFL in arrests.

    Earlier this week, in light of Adrian Peterson's recent scuffle with an off-duty cop in Houston, Gov. Mark Dayton tried to offer an explanation as to why football players tend to get in trouble.

    In an interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Dayton compared the problems of athletes like Peterson -- a 27-year-old with a $36 million-dollar contract -- to those of soldiers returning from war and trying to readjust to society.

    Strangely, a lot of people thought one of those kinda sounded a lot better than the other.

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    After time to reflect, Dayton says the trauma of a football player might not be the same as a war vet.
    From the interview:

    "Shake one of their hands and you know that this is somebody that is not your ordinary citizen. I mean, they're heavily armored, and heavily psyched to do what they have to do, and go out there in what is basically a slightly civilized war. And then they take that to society. Much as soldiers come back, and they've been in combat, or at the edge of it. And suddenly that adjustment back to civilian life is a challenge."

    Dayton issued an apology for the poor choice of words Thursday morning, saying, while some of the "psychological dynamics" may be similar, it's not fair to compare the two. Here's the full apology:

    "In a recent interview, I was asked why so many professional football players had difficulties off the field. I made a poor analogy, by saying that the psychological adjustments they have to make from their contests to normal society were not unlike the difficulties experienced by returning veterans.

    "Some of the psychological dynamics may be similar; however, I, in no way, meant to compare their challenges with the traumas and hardships experienced by the heroes who fought in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. While I am a football fan, I reserve my highest respect and admiration for those courageous Americans in uniform, who risk their lives to keep us safe and to make the world more free.

    "I regret my mistake, and I apologize for it."


  • My Voice Nation Help
    8 comments
    HerbDickerson
    HerbDickerson

    fuck a 36million dollar thug, fuck anyone who buys their merchandise and fuck anyone who watches their games, 

    Dr. J
    Dr. J

    Republicans attack people's military service.  John Kerry, Tammy Duckworth, and Max Cleveland know that.   George W. Bush and his asshole cronies lied to Pat Tilllman's family about how their son died so he could  save face politically.   Let's not forget Republicans are currently nominating a rich kid who used his cult religion to dodge the Vietnam draft.  

    Dr. J
    Dr. J

    I don't really get why this is a story.  Are we going to tear apart everyone that uses words like war, battle, warrior, and solider when they talk about sports?    It's maybe a little insensitive but its not like he was mocking soliders or anything.  

    Susan
    Susan

    No. Then-Sen. Dayton took heat for closing his office and sending his staff home over a holiday break when there had been a terrorist threat. He didn't want his staff to be exposed to a threat when he himself would be going back to Minnesota for the recess.

    East Coast Doug
    East Coast Doug

    Dayton is a stooge, a mouth piece for some uber liberals.  He probably forget his meds that day.

    CinBlueland
    CinBlueland

    It's not hard to see where Dayton got confused.. He's a liberal pantywaist and both of these endeavors (Military Service, and Football) probably appear very masculine and macho, so he was unable to make the distinction between the two. I know I'm going to get crap.. but this is the guy who ran from DC and hid in MN during a terrorist alert while everyone else and his staff stayed behind.

    ThatSh*tCray
    ThatSh*tCray

    Ugh......nope.  I don't see the comparison.  It's preposterous to even fathom comparing a professional football off season to a war vet coming home.  In my opinion. I'm a huge NFL fan, but I don't even give the pro players that much benefit-of-the-doubt.  No more analogies, Dayton.

    IheartMN
    IheartMN

    Poor choice of words? Sure. But I see the comparison he's making. People who have one set of behavior that is appropriate in one setting and then return to civilian life where another set of behaviors is appropriate.

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