ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A day after comparing the challenges of NFL players getting into trouble with law to troops returning from battle, Gov. Mark Dayton is apologizing.

Dayton was asked about the frequency of NFL players being arrested for off the field issues. Most recently, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was arrested for resisting arrest and he’s accused of refusing to leave a bar in Texas after he was told to leave.

On Wednesday, Dayton defended Peterson, saying that the psychological adjustments NFL players have to make from playing games to living everyday life are not unlike the hard times veterans suffer when they return from active duty.

He adjusted his comments on Thursday and apologized.

“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,” Dayton said.

The timing of the apology is interesting. Thursday night, the governor is headlining a fundraiser in St. Paul for the Wounded Warriors Foundation.


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