Minnesota Governor Says Vikings Were Dishonest About Reasons for Cutting Chris Kluwe

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says Vikings officials were dishonest in the reasons given for cutting punter Chris Kluwe. Many believed he was cut for being too outspoken on LGBT rights issues, though officials said they cut him early to give him a better chance at signing with another team.

DaytonDayton doesn't believe them, the AP reports.

Said Dayton at a news conference:

"Yeah, I don't feel good about it…I'm not in a position to evaluate the relative punting abilities, but it seems to me the general manager said, right after the draft, they were going to have competition…Well, they bring the one guy in, he kicks for a weekend and that's competition?"

Dayton added: "I just think sports officials ought to be honest about what the heck is going on, same way I think public officials should be honest about what's going on, so that bothers me probably as much, if not more, than the actual decision….That's their decision to make. They don't give political advice. I don't give them coaching advice."


  1. Belthazar says

    Those that keep pushing the theme that Kluwe was “left go” because of his advocacy should listen to the Podcast on Outsports. The panel (NFLPA, Cyd, Stallworth, etc.) discussed ‘Gay Athletes in Sports’, including the above. The panel agreed that if it had anything to do w/his release, it was a very small part if at all.

  2. IJelly says

    We need to drop the whole “Kluwe was fired for his advocacy” meme. In terms of cold hard numbers it was a very logical move by the Vikings.

    Kluwe had a very good 8 year career, but his stats did drop off dramatically last season. So, like hundreds of other still-decent players, he was replaced by a younger, cheaper model.

    In the end, governors and activists, and the host of non-football folks chiming in about this, are only hurting our cause.

  3. Paul says

    Facts aren’t as exciting as conspiracy theories. Kluwe was a punter on the decline and his stats near the bottom in most categories. The Vikings went with a younger and less expensive punter, just like they did LAST YEAR when they drafted a place kicker and released their veteran kicker. The scarey thing is that an elected public officials thinks that a PRIVATE entity using it’s OWN money should justify it’s internal hiring decisions.

  4. Paul says

    And I also wonder how many people claiming that Kluwe was released know the difference between a nickel defense and the 4-3 defense, yet alone the difference between a touchdown and a homerun. Stick to what you know best: talking about fashion, dance/house music, and the latest epsiode of the Real Housewives.

  5. Michael says

    Let me get this right people. So in the past year we’ve had two NFL players come out for gay rights and they both got let go?

    If you buy their vocal support of gay rights didn’t have a huge influence on what happened to them I’ve got one hell of deal on the George Washington bridge I’d like to share with you.

    btw, which part are you guys having a hard time grasping. Yes, I’ll admit maybe they weren’t the best of the bunch but I can not only assure you the Vikings were full of it when they said there’d be a competition but I’ll buy the George Washington bridge for you if I can’t find you more than a handful of less talented players that weren’t let go.

  6. Paul says

    There are people that when they see a duck (an aging NFL player with low productivity and high salary) will call it a unicorn (an nfl player released because of his opinion) because the unicorn makes for a more interesting story.

    People still want to believe that the owners, coaches and players in the NFL hate gay people. This narrative fits their world-view, so they run with it whether it’s true or not.

    This false storyline also hurts the LGBT sports movement. By putting a fictitious target on athletes who support gay rights, it make it harder to find athletes who will speak their mind on behalf of gay issues.

  7. Paul says

    And where is your proof that they released Kluwe for his opinion? Kluwe is player that is known to be extremely vocal and opinionated in the past. He had been a thorn under his teams owners and coaches in the past, but since he was PRODUCTIVE and worth the cost (i.e. MONEY), they kept him on the team. His STATS (facts and not just conjecture) had dropped.

  8. alex says

    Anyone that doubts that NFL team owners only act in their own self-interest doesn’t understand their business model. NFL teams economically coerce local fans (via the blackout TV rules) to buy tickets.

    Also, whenever an owner wants a new stadium, the league uses their old standby trick of threatening to move a team to Los Angeles. Once again, it worked…this time for the Vikings, conveniently paid by Minnesota tax-payers.

    Given that, it’s hardly surprising that Kluwe was told he would compete for this position, only to have that never happen.

    It makes me sad, because I’m a huge Vikings fan. I still have nightmares about Gary Anderson’s missed kick in 1998. (I’m joking. Sort of.)

  9. Michael says


    I’m guessing you don’t think they were asking prospects about their orientation either. Guess that guy just made it all up.

    Learn. To. Live. In. The. Real. World.

  10. Bill says

    While I’ll refrain from guessing about this case, if anyone wants to see a funny movie about a straight guy who comes out so he won’t be fired, see “The Closet” (La Placard in French):

    (It’s about a boring accountant who works for a condom factory and if anyone thought the company was homophobic, they’d lose too much business. They were going to fire him, but once he came out, they decided they couldn’t.)

  11. Mike says

    Agree with Minnesota governor Mark Dayton and top sports reporters on this one. It was just too short a time for any REAL decision to be made; unless it had already had been done so in secret. The transparency of the firing of Chris Kluwe is now quite evident!!! . . Nor do I believe ANY of this nonsense about “cutting him early to give him a better chance at signing with another team.” They knew full well how good he was AND STILL IS!!! . . They had seen him play firsthand and valued him enough to pay extremely well. ($1.45 million is most often quoted.) The ONLY problem arose when he spoke up as he had in the past for gay rights. (At one time he even had a blog.) As an American citizen with a deep empathy to others he saw the way LGBT people are treated and the horrible and blatant injustice!

    Even an assistant coach for the Vikings, Mike Priefer, said as much earlier when they were trying to quiet him from being so honest. The owners of the team said as recently as last month that “Kluwe’s playing ability is the best that it has EVER been. He is great!” Yet today they are not saying anything directly. However, the so called “independent” opinions of the few excessively paid supporters of the owners are almost working overtime and with a LOT of money to quash this in any media that they can find; be it television, the Internet and I would guess even a radio station with some dead air space to fill. . . No! The ONLY factor for his being “let go” was the fact that he was so outspoken on LGBT rights. As Chris Kluwe simply and heartfully said “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.”
    . America is morally better and SO much more cognizant now due in no small part to his efforts! . Both Chris Kluwe and Brendan Ayanbadejo are ardent in their support for us in our fight for just equality. These wonderful straight men both sacrificed themselves for us and in doing so they both exemplify the very best of humanity! Now we must try to return the favor. . Admittedly this has little to do with football, however it has EVERYTHING to do with the present lack of fairness in America. Somehow am reminded of the courtroom scene in that old classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” just after Atticus Finch gives an impassioned speech revealing the total INJUSTICE of the situation to a room chock full of bigots. At the conclusion when he is leaving the room the narrator, little Scout is told by a Rev. Sykes to “Stand up. Your father’s passing. . . Yes. . . . The time has come for us ALL to stand up out of deep admiration and respect!

  12. IJelly says

    Sorry Mike. The passion is great and of course we’re on the same side of the greater cause of equality. But if you’re trying to convince the football folks here of your knowledge of the game, siting “To Kill a Mocking Bird” is not the way to do it.

    It is very common to release veterans right after the rookie mini-camp, which takes place right after the draft. The teams bring in their newly acquired rookies, test them out, and if everything looks good, the teams release their aging, on-the-bubble veterans. The reason some teams do keep marginal players is because they weren’t able to find a replacement in the draft.

    That said, Kluwe was in no way terrible. I think he has a decent chance to be picked up by another team, if not now, then during the season if another punter gets injured.

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