Dayton sorry for comparing NFL players to war vets 19 Jul 12

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s sorry he compared NFL players in trouble with the law to returning war veterans.

The first-term Democrat apologized Thursday in a statement that said he made a poor analogy when he used the comparison in an interview Tuesday with Minnesota Public Radio.

In that interview, Dayton theorized on the troubles of professional football players including Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and said that football was “basically slightly civilized war.”

Dayton says, “I regret my mistake, and I apologize for it.”

The governor says some of the “psychological dynamics” may be similar but he didn’t mean to compare the NFL players’ problems to the hardships experienced by war heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan. Dayton says he reserves his highest respect for soldiers in uniform.

AP-WF-07-19-12 1455GMT