Oh no he dint!
Oh yes he did.
Chris Kluwe (former punter for the Vikings) set fire to all his NFL bridges yesterday when Deadspin released a scathing article about his last year with the Vikings.
In case you don’t remember, Chris Kluwe was also an outspoken supporter for gay rights and was very vocal about defeating the Minnesota marriage amendment which was on the ballot last year.
It is a dangerous thing, to be in such a macho profession and to stand up for a long-targeted group. But I guess he felt strongly enough about it to jump into the fray, especially given the crucial issue here in Minnesota. He was a visible public figure (a pro footballer fer cripes sake!), but evidently he felt secure enough in his position as the Vikings #1 punter that he could safely make some noise.
He no longer punts for the Vikings. Or for anyone in the NFL. He tried out for a couple other teams, but….
If you actually read the linked article (if you haven’t already) it appears that Chris was the victim of systematic harassment and eventual termination– most likely brought about by his outspoken behavior. (And this behavior may have kept him from gaining employment with another team.)
Hey. I get it. It’s sort of like the whole Duck Dynasty controversy. Kluwe spoke his mind, management found it incendiary or inappropriate, so he was terminated. Except Chris trumpeted equality instead of racism and hatred.
And the douchebag on the A&E show still has his job.
I realize that there are three sides to every story: his, theirs, and the truth. And what the truth is, we’ll never know. But it sure seems that Chris did an excellent job of documenting exact dates and conversations– much like they instruct victims of harassment to do. This would appear to indicate that he felt threatened at his job– which, to me, makes his claims feel credible.
And hell! Look at the racism and harassment allegations that came out surrounding that Incognito guy on the Dolphins. I mean, it’s the NF-fucking-L! Is this a shocker??
But my only struggle with this whole story is: why now? Why is Chris Kluwe dropping this bomb now– a year after he was let go by the Vikings?
Perhaps it is true that he cared enough about his former teammates that he didn’t want to stir the pot during their already shitty season. Maybe he wanted to see if the coach would be fired. Maybe it was because he knew after a year of looking, his NFL dreams were done.
Who knows? But all are logical conclusions.
Naturally now the Vikings have released statements, and several players are standing up for the alleged bigot coach, and people are saying it’s just sour grapes, and Kluwe is just a whiny pussy has-been bitch liar, etc.
And maybe he is. I don’t really know him other than from his tweets and interviews and his ferocious defense of gay rights. But he seems like a good guy. And a very smart guy.
Which puzzles me. I mean, what is Kluwe hoping to gain by coming out with this information? He didn’t file a lawsuit. He is most certainly done in the NFL- no take backsies. And he is setting himself up to be vilified by all the macho football fans and commentators everywhere.
Not to mention he is basically David, standing up in front of Goliath (aka the Vikings organization).
The cynic in me is waiting to find out that he has some sort of book deal or something, and the controversy will drum up free publicity. Again, just like that Dynasty Dickhead.
I truly hope this isn’t the case and he’s just standing up against bigotry and hatred. I hope he’s the good guy I think he is.
Regardless, it’s a compelling story. And I admire his courage for standing up for his beliefs.
Godspeed, Mr. Kluwe.