He addressed the remarks for the first time on Friday.
“I regret using those words because obviously there is nothing, absolutely nothing that you can compare to slavery,” Peterson said, per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It stands alone. It was something that I should have used better wording to put that out there. But it’s spoiled milk, it’s old and it’s over with.”
But, of course, the apology was equivocal. Peterson said the comments were “taken out of context.” Even though he seems to accept some of the blame for allowing it to be taken out of context.
“It was [taken] out of context and it was on me for putting it out there to make it available to be taken out of context,” Peterson said.
I wonder how many people who use the phrase “out of context” as a way of fully or partially shifting responsibility for their words even know what “out of context” means. Taking “it’s modern-day slavery” out of context, in this specific context, would entail lifting the words “[i]t’s modern-day slavery” from something like “I disagree with anyone who says it’s modern-day slavery.”
In cases like this one, “out of context” usually is a synonym for “I disagree with anyone who uses my words against me.”