Chris Kluwe - Ex NFL Punter Loses Job After Publicly Supporting Gay Marriage

I listened to an interesting podcast this morning w/ ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe, who lost his job (not so coincidentally) after offering public support for marriage equality. Kluwe was ahead of the curve in the NFL in this regard. He had zero problems with teammates and other players around the league after sharing his opinion. Apparently, the majority of players supported his stance. Those who didn't engaged in respectful discourse. Kluwe's actions didn't really phase his collegues. Civil rights for gay people is not that controversial to the modern NFP player. 

Kluwe did have problems with his coaching staff (the Minnesota Vikings). In reaction to the publicity generated by his initial comments, coaches asked him to stay silent about the several state marriage equality propositions up for vote nationally. Coaches took this upon themselves: the MN Vikings ownership, executives, Legal and teammates had no issue with a player making a personal political statement. The coaches for whatever reason (team unity?) tried to stifle Kluwe - a punter (a position deemed non essential in the scale of things), with passive threats, bigoted taunts and other weird mind games. His coaches harassed hime in spite of his better than average stats. 
 
Longer story short: Kluwe is now out if the league - can't get a job while still in his prime - deemed "difficult" or not worth the press conference. It’s interesting that professional football coaches – people who have great influence over the livelihood and careers of players - and who publicly would endorse standing up for what is right, fighting for your beliefs and yada yada yada - would turn out to be the bigoted, petty and awful cast of characters in this story. So it goes... Those with power will often abuse it. 
 
Chris Kluwe isn’t playing the victim card; he isn't dwelling in the unfairness of it all. He understands that he was just a punter, isn't the guy filling the seats, doesn't have a ton of leverage, etc. He took a meaningful risk and it cost him. The NFL afforded him a nice lifestyle, but he may be better off without it in the long run. I commend him and others who advocate for simple justice when compelled to do so by heart and mind, even when the risk/ reward is not in their favor. History should reflect kindly on such actions. 
 

2 comments

  • Ehud Avni
    Ehud Avni Houston, Tx
    Horse shit. He was picked up by the Raiders & cut again for not performing. If he was the second coming of Ray Guy he'd still be working in the NFL. He retired in Jan. 2014 because he realized he doesn't have the skill to do the job. Period. The gay card comes for one final pay day.

    Horse shit. He was picked up by the Raiders & cut again for not performing. If he was the second coming of Ray Guy he'd still be working in the NFL. He retired in Jan. 2014 because he realized he doesn't have the skill to do the job. Period. The gay card comes for one final pay day.

  • Sanelunaticproductions
    Sanelunaticproductions
    You're wrong about that. Look at his stats. There was no decline in performance - above average in fact compared to others at the position. Also, he was cut by the Raiders for salary cap reasons. The Raiders had a rookie who was adequate and much cheaper. Kluwe didn't develop in the Raider organization so there is legitimate reasoning there. There's no getting around the fact the Viking's coaching staff acted thuggishly towards Kluwe's politics. He retired because he didn't get picked up for another contract. It's not because of performance. Also, why does Kluwe have to be the next Ray Guy? Why can't he just be better than most?

    You're wrong about that. Look at his stats. There was no decline in performance - above average in fact compared to others at the position. Also, he was cut by the Raiders for salary cap reasons. The Raiders had a rookie who was adequate and much cheaper. Kluwe didn't develop in the Raider organization so there is legitimate reasoning there. There's no getting around the fact the Viking's coaching staff acted thuggishly towards Kluwe's politics. He retired because he didn't get picked up for another contract. It's not because of performance. Also, why does Kluwe have to be the next Ray Guy? Why can't he just be better than most?

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