The all-pro made the comments to Yahoo! Sports while reflecting on a lockout imposed this week by team owners after they and the NFL Players Association failed to renegotiate an expiring collective bargaining agreement.
"The players are getting robbed. They are," Peterson told Yahoo. "The owners are making so much money off of us to begin with. I don't know that I want to quote myself on that.
"It's modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too," Peterson said.
The Vikings star said he understood that as "business-minded people," owners wanted to generate more revenue, but cautioned that "as players, we have to stand our ground and say, 'Hey, without us, there's no football.'"
Peterson called the owners' refusal to release detailed information about club finances "a rip-off -- not just for the players, but for the people who work at the concession stands and at the stadiums."