Antonio Gates on LeBron James’ ‘NFL Slave Mentality’ Comment : ‘You Get Paid to Play’

Antonio Gates
WARNER TODD HUSTON

Los Angeles Chargers tight end Antonio Gates returned fire at NBA star LeBron James for saying pro football players are treated like “slaves.” Gates countered saying that NFL players know what they are signing up for and make a fine living doing it.

Prior to Christmas, the L.A. Lakers star slammed the National Football League’s “old white men” owners for having a “slave mentality.” During his HBO show, The Shop, James added that the NFL “does not care” about its players.

But this week, Antonio Gates scoffed at James’ proclamations, according to TMZ Sports.

“I don’t know all the owners — I know my owner. And, my relationship with my owner has been phenomenal. And, it’s sports. You know what I mean? You get paid to play,” Gates said of James’ comments.

“We all know what we sign up for,” the eight-time Pro Bowl player added.

Gates also waved off James’ accusation that the NFL’s owners are like slave masters.

“A lot of us make a really good living, man, being able to support our families at the same time. So, it is what it is,” he replied.

Gates, whose 116 touchdown catches is the league’s best for any tight end, recently noted that even after 16 seasons he still thinks he is still in top form and is not looking to retire any time soon.

“I try to evaluate myself. I can still beat a linebacker, I feel like I can still play,” Gates said Friday.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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