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I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot


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#1 Delhommey

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:21 PM

 

Hello. My name is Chris Kluwe, and for eight years I was the punter for the Minnesota Vikings. In May 2013, the Vikings released me from the team. At the time, quite a few people asked me if I thought it was because of my recent activism for same-sex marriage rights, and I was very careful in how I answered the question. My answer, verbatim, was always, "I honestly don't know, because I'm not in those meetings with the coaches and administrative people."

This is a true answer. I honestly don't know if my activism was the reason I got fired.

However, I'm pretty confident it was.

Allow myself to tell you a story about ... myself. The following is a record of what happened to me during my 2012 season with the Minnesota Vikings, written down immediately after the 2013 draft in April, when I realized what was happening, and revised recently only for clarity. I tried to keep things as objective as possible, and anything you see in quotes are words that I directly recall being said to me.

This is a story about how actions have consequences, no matter how just or moral you think your cause happens to be, and it's a story about the price people all too often pay for speaking out.

 

 

 

Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

 

http://deadspin.com/...s-an-1493208214

 

No outrage over this, of course.

 

 

 



#2 TNPanther

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:09 PM

I have absolutely no problem with players speaking their minds on human rights issues....as long as they don't draw negative attention to the team.


Although Kluwe did nothing wrong, I do think he was speaking out a little too much and thus drew too much attention. If what he writes about how the coaches handled the situation is true, then shame on them. That ST coordinator seems like a rotten human being.


#3 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:26 PM

I think he probably was let go because of his statements.

 

I think he would have a really hard time proving that, and he pretty much admits such in the article.

 

I think Kluwe knew that this was a distinct possiblity, yet he continued to speak out.  Takes a lot of balls to do.

 

When you're in a profession with a lot of routine turnover (like the NFL) particularly in a position like punter where you're fairly easily replaced, "becoming a distraction" is a real issue, and the bigotry on display aside, he was aware what could happen.

 

A wiser course of action may have been to make less of a wave, while still supporting those causes, at least until he was out of the league.  Not saying that it was right that he was cut because of this, but he may have made a bigger impact had he done that... idk, hard to say.

 

Maybe some other, bigger names will speak out now...



#4 mav1234

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:29 PM

Anyone know how good a punter he was during that time?

 

edit: wow nm

 

On Dec. 13, during his weekly media session, Mike Priefer was asked about the patch in a joking manner. He responded tersely: "I don't even want to talk about it. Those distractions are getting old for me, to be honest with you." When asked if he had talked to me about the distractions, he said: "No. He won't listen." At no time during the season had Coach Priefer ever approached me about my actions, nor had he ever made any intimation that I was a distraction to the team. He also said: "To me, it's getting old. He's got to focus on punting and holding." Up to that point I had not dropped a single hold on field goals, and despite a shaky game against Tampa Bay and several substandard punts against other teams, both my net- and gross-punting marks were nearly in line with my career averages, which remain the best in Vikings history. I had also been repeatedly instructed by Mike Priefer to dial back the distance of my kicks to give our coverage team a better chance at getting down the field, a request I did my best to follow despite knowing it would mean sacrificing my own averages and allowing people to fashion an argument against me based on those numbers. His exact words were: "Chris, we need you to kick it higher and shorter, because our coverage team sucks. We need to force fair catches as much as possible." I complied, as I had always been taught to put the team before myself.



#5 Jase

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:35 PM

and nobody else picked him up?

 

Weird.



#6 GWBNostrils

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:37 PM

Where is that SaveChrisKluwe petition? I'll sign it



#7 Frash Brastard

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:51 PM

and nobody else picked him up?

Weird.


Kerry Rhodes as well

But hey, let's only get mad and emphasize personal rights when a&e decides to drop the scary old shovel guy from home alone

#8 thefuzz

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:51 PM

Can't say that I'm shocked.

 

 



#9 cardiackat88.

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:58 PM

How about punt the football and don't cause any distractions, or bring unnecessary attention to yourself, regardless of what you are being outspoken about.

Ask The Golden Calf of Bristol how it worked out for him, too.

#10 Anybodyhome

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:41 PM

How about punt the football and don't cause any distractions, or bring unnecessary attention to yourself, regardless of what you are being outspoken about.

Ask The Golden Calf of Bristol how it worked out for him, too.

 

... or Phil Robertson....
 



#11 g5jamz

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:42 PM

He's a punter....not ADP.

 



#12 Delhommey

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 03:49 PM

... or Phil Robertson....
 

 

IT'S CAUSE THEY DON'T LIKE US TALKING ABOUT JESUS



#13 Goondal

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:01 PM

I have a great amount of respect for him and I hope how things worked out here does not cause others to choose not to speak out.

 

That being said, when you bring attention to yourself and your employer by speaking out about controversial subjects they are well within their right to find a different option, even if they way they handled it was very poor.

 

I hope the ST coach never gets another job.  Too bad the others players in the meeting that heard the "nuke it til it glows" comment did not speak up, but I can understand why they did not, that is a tough situation.



#14 SZ James (banned)

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 11:48 AM

I know for a fact that there is institutional anti-homosexual sentiment in the NFL. If the Rhodes situation wasn't 100% proof of that.

HOW EVA

Why was he cut from other teams shortly after that if it wasn't about performance?

#15 Chimera

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 12:09 PM

I know for a fact that there is institutional anti-homosexual sentiment in the NFL. If the Rhodes situation wasn't 100% proof of that.

HOW EVA

Why was he cut from other teams shortly after that if it wasn't about performance?


well, he was cut nearly a year after publishing an open letter to a Maryland politician. I would rank that as his biggest distraction.

http://m.huffpost.co.../entry/1866216/

But I agree - he was a very good punter and his outspoken nature probably had much to do with being cut.


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