Marriage Equality Ally Chris Kluwe Cut by Minnesota Vikings


As Chris Kluwe forecast after they drafted UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round last week, the Minnesota Vikings have released him.

The Star Tribune:

The 31-year-old was given the news Monday morning at Winter Park during a meeting with General Manager Rick Spielman. Kluwe had been anticipating the move, one that became transparent April 27 when the team used a fifth-round draft pick on UCLA punter Jeff Locke.

Locke participated in the team’s three-day rookie mini-camp over the weekend and fared well enough for the Vikings to feel totally secure in selecting him. And that meant kicking the door open and sending Kluwe on his way.

Writes the paper's Chip Scoggins:

Regardless of whether they admit it, the Vikings are jettisoning Kluwe partly because they grew tired of his outspokenness. It’s naive to think the move is based solely on his age (31), salary ($1.45 million) or how he performed last season (inconsistently). Kluwe has become the most visible punter in NFL history because of his social activism. The Vikings deny that Kluwe’s public stance on issues factored into their decision — not that they would ever admit it — but they likely prefer someone who embraces the anonymous life of an NFL punter.

Kluwe’s departure will make the Vikings locker room a lot more dull because he is incredibly intelligent, articulate and passionate about societal issues. He’s a fascinating individual in a sport that breeds conformity. The NFL has become so big and so powerful that players often cling to political correctness for fear that a ripple might swell into a tidal wave. Kluwe is that surfer dude on top of the wave, hanging 10 on any issue that stirs his emotion.

Kluwe tweeted this morning:

"So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!… Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn't have traded it for anything… And thank you everyone for your support. Remember, one label does not define who you are as a person :)


  1. Jason says

    Yeah, we should remember that guys like Kluwe and Ayanbadejo gave their careers to stand up for us. They took a big risk and paid a dear price… they are real allies.

  2. Matt says

    “I think the sacrifice would be worth it,” Kluwe told Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune. “Now, I would hope that I would get the chance to play football again, because I think I can still play. But if it ends up being something that costs me that position, I think making people aware of an issue that is causing children to commit suicide is more important than kicking a leather ball.”
    I love this guy.

  3. will says

    It really gives me unresolved feelings to see some of our best straight allies fired after supporting our cause. I know this is not the case, but I sometimes feel we use these people to our advantage then conveniently forget about them when they are no longer useful to us. I hope we can support him now,

  4. Profe Sancho Panza says

    I’m giving him so many extra points for the Douglas Adams/Hitchhiker’s Guide farewell. I respect that he’s an equality activist, but I love that he’s a sci-fi/fantasy geek!

  5. Francis #1 says

    I don’t think Brendon was cut because of his activism, but I do think Kluwe was on top of his performance/salary. The Vikings haven’t denied it and they weren’t happy with his outspokenness and activism. They felt Chris was bringing undue attention to the team, and hurting his own performance.

    He’s not being cut solely for his activism but his inconsistent performance made his activism less easily ignored by the front office of Minnesota and clearly they decided to rid themselves of what they see as a distraction.

    Goes to show the bravery men like Kluwe, Ayanbadejo, Fujita and others have in that they stand up for us in a culture that is clearly resistant. They deserve a ton of not just praise and acknowledgement. They put themselves out there and took and are taking punches for us and closeted players.

  6. Carlie says

    Eight short days ago, the Vikings GM said, in a claim that was widely-reported, that Kluwe would get a chance to compete for the job. Whatever happened to that?

    It may be a pure football decision. But, it certainly looks suspect.

  7. ophu says

    Chris Kluwe won the game of Life (and I don’t mean the board game). He’s made an actual difference, to more than just a football team or a city.

  8. IJelly says

    We need to step away from the narrative that Kluwe and Ayanbadejo were cut because of their activism. Besides the fact that it helps our enemies, it simply isn’t true. Both cuts were rational and expected given each player’s individual circumstances.

    In Kluwe’s case, he was already on the downside of his career when his numbers took a nose-dive last season – especially unforgivable because he punts indoors most of the year, which should have give his numbers a boost.

  9. Kevin-in-Honolulu says

    Someone as bright, articulate, and kind as Chris Kluwe will have no trouble finding work and a new career..let’s face it, perhaps at age 31 it’s a good idea to leave an injury-prone occupation for other things. I am sure you are all aware that with each passing year, football players’ bodies just begin to wither with all of the concussions, fractures, breaks, and bruises. Perhaps a few of them really don’t have anything else to offer, or are afraid to leave because of the status and money…and they choose to endure more physical pain and injuries.

    There are many things to do in life, folks…don’t pigeonhole yourself into a career because of laziness or fear!

    Best of luck to you Chris in your new endeavors!

  10. EchtKultig says

    Nobody is daring to consider that these two became very vocal gay rights advocates because they knew they were near the ends of their NFL careers. A safer time to do it.

    The being said I would have no doubt that most NFL owners and coaches are homophobic.

  11. J Clark says

    I do not think The Vikings realize how bad this is going to be for them. They are a meh team already. The only real thing that gave them any positive press was Kluwe. I mean they have “some” loyal fans but the team is meh and the coaching team reads like a High School football team. Oh well. I am sure Kluwe will end up somewhere. Time to go cut up my Minnesota Vikings Debit Card. Only had it to support Kluwe!

  12. Rick says

    “Nobody is daring to consider that these two became very vocal gay rights advocates because they knew they were near the ends of their NFL careers. A safer time to do it.”

    That is the fly in the ointment here and also the fly in the ointment with Jason Collins.

    There is enough legitimate reason to think that all three were probably at the end of their careers entirely due to productivity considerations that it is hard to say whether their activism was much of a factor in their being cut by their teams (or not being picked up as a free agent, if that turns out to be Collins’ fate, going forward).

    If any of the three had been all-pro type players at the height of their careers and they still got cut, then there would be no doubt that it was because of their activism…..but there is so much gray area in each of their cases, that it is hard to draw any clear conclusions.

    I will say this: Homophobia aside, the management of virtually all pro sports franchises does not like for its players to be involved in controversy off the field, ESPECIALLY of a political nature, regardless of what side of an issue they take. For this reason, you don’t typically see many of them being vocal supporters of conservative causes, any more than you see many being advocates of progressive causes.

    Which adds another shade of gray: Did management dislike the stands in favor of same-sex marriage that these players took….or did they just dislike the fact that they were vocal proponents of ANY position on the topic?

    Hard to say, but over time, we will get a better sense.

    At least the league presidents of the NFL and the NBA have been outspoken in their support of potentially “out” players, so one cannot any longer say that league policy is homophobic….

  13. scooternva says

    “And let this be a lesson to the rest of you loudmouths thinking of starting any trouble!”

    Whether it’s true or not, at the VERY least that’s the takeaway NFL players will read as the underlying subtext of cutting Kluwe and Ayanbadejo.

  14. Billy Crytical says

    All NFL players who have strongly spoken out for gay rights have been cut by their teams at the end of the season. The NFL has a problem.

  15. Gabe R L says

    The NFL will have things their way, probably. But I admire Chris and Brandon and others for what they have done, whatever my opinions of their supposed straightness. They are still valuable allies.

  16. Spence says

    They’re hired to play football, not be mouthpieces for the gay agenda. Kluwe and that Brenden guy (his last name is impossible) were HIGHLY distracting and probably were polarizing on their teams.

  17. Michael says

    Wow, the NFL can kiss my…

    So we have all these reports how they’ll welcome a gay player but it’s been made loud and clear if you’re an NFL player and support gay rights they’ll make damn sure you’re let go.

    Yeah, I’m sure the gay NFL players are really willing to come out now.

  18. Michael says

    Hey Spence,

    Exactly how were they distracting to the game? You mean as when they were NOT playing the game?

    Please, by all means, give us just one example of how their support for gay rights hindered their team’s ability to play football?

  19. jsb says

    Hey Spence,
    Can you send me a copy of that “Gay Agenda”? Mine must have gotten lost in the mail or something, I’ve heard about it, but never seen it in my 53 years.

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