Chris Kluwe | Football (American) | Keith Olbermann | News | Sports

Chris Kluwe: Tim Tebow and I are Being Shut Out of the NFL for Similar Reasons — VIDEO


Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe joined Keith Olbermann last night to talk about his claims that he was released from the Vikings because of his gay activism. Kluwe told Olbermann that the NFL doesn't want players speaking out on anything.

"If head coaches had their way, it would be, players wake up, they think about football, they go practice, they go to sleep, and they dream about football. And that would be all that there is."

Kluwe suggested that evangelical Christian lightning rod Tim Tebow is being shut out for the same reasons:

"As much as we are polar opposites on the things we stand for, Tebow is the exact same way...There are backup quarterbacks in the NFL right now that Tebow is certainly better than — he could fill a role with a team. But because he brings this other stuff with him, just like I bring my other stuff with me, teams look at it like, 'Well, we don’t want it. We don’t want players speaking out. We don’t want players doing anything other than football.'"

Kluwe also explains the timeline in which he was shut down by the organization for speaking out about marriage equality.


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  1. Glad he's on our side, but does Kluwe seem a little methy?

    Posted by: Tigernan | Jan 10, 2014 3:18:25 PM

  2. He's looked that way for a couple of years. Someone as erudite, limber-tongued and nice is unlikely to be doing any drugs.

    Posted by: steven | Jan 10, 2014 3:29:01 PM

  3. Great interview.

    Posted by: barney | Jan 10, 2014 3:49:53 PM

  4. @Steven:

    That's a pretty stupid statement. I know plenty of people who use drugs recreationally on occasion who are incredibly intelligent, eloquent, and well-spoken.

    Posted by: Jack | Jan 10, 2014 4:11:25 PM

  5. Kluwe is both right and wrong on the comparison of himself with Tebow. The closer comparison though is 'value' not 'beliefs'.

    Kluwe is actually a punter with proven ability and a track record. The issue with Kluwe is value-- his productivity relative to his salary, relative to comparable productivity that can be gotten from lower-compensated, younger punters.

    Tebow is an athlete suffering from the delusion that he is an NFL-level quarterback. He does not have the passing skills to be a viable QB, not even in a backup role. He could probably contribute to a team as a special teams player, and might even be valuable as a tight end or h-back. But he insists on competing as a quarterback. Unless and until he's willing to consider a career makeover, he is unlikely to play in the NFL.

    In Kluwe's case, I agree that his outspokenness contributes to teams' unwillingness to hire him. In Tebow's case, his beliefs are neutral at worst, and in many markets and with many coaches are probably a net plus--just not enough to overcome his lack of ability.

    This is increasingly a problem with Kluwe--he has shifted the spotlight away from the issue of gay players in the NFL onto the personal plight he has suffered as a result of speaking out. It makes him look more like a self-promoter than an authentic advocate for gay athletes. The more he talks, the less seriously I take him.

    Posted by: Kick Me | Jan 10, 2014 4:41:22 PM

  6. Ok , now He's lost it

    Posted by: Aki | Jan 10, 2014 4:44:40 PM

  7. Ok , now he's lost it

    Posted by: Aki | Jan 10, 2014 4:44:41 PM

  8. This guy is finally showing his stripes. He is just a bitter jock who can't accept that he is past his prime (and can't ask for the salary he is used to). Tebow is not being kept out of the NFL because of his religious belief. He is being kekpt out because he is not good enough to be a NFL caliber QB. Some teams have hinted at signing him to their team, but to use him in other positions. Tebow has stated he will only play in the NFL if he plays the QB positions.

    I hope the gays stop buying the BS Kluwe is trying to sell and realize he is out for publicity for himself. He doesn't give 3 licks about gays.

    Posted by: Perry | Jan 10, 2014 4:50:50 PM

  9. The trolls here just get weirder and weirder.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Jan 10, 2014 5:15:14 PM

  10. I disagree with previous posters. I think Kluwe does bring up a valid point about being vocal about your values and beliefs. In Tebow's case it's not him it's circus that follows him. Given a chance, I think he has some potential.

    Posted by: terry | Jan 10, 2014 5:42:57 PM

  11. The idea that Kluwe is only self-centered and doesn't care about gay people might make a smidgen more sense if he hadn't been a vocal supporter of marriage equality when it was clearly of no advantage to him or his football career. Even if he wants to stay in the limelight now, it doesn't alter the fact that he was an articulate and passionate spokesman/ally for the freedom to marry when it mattered.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 10, 2014 5:55:20 PM

  12. Kluwe knew the risk he was taking, was willing to take it and pay the price - which he did. Thanks Mr. Kluwe

    Posted by: erick70115 | Jan 10, 2014 6:15:08 PM

  13. Football is a religion.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 10, 2014 7:14:31 PM

  14. He is right. They want robots. Not people.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 10, 2014 7:36:10 PM

  15. Patriots owner Kraft actually gave Tebow another chance because of his spirituality.

    Pro scouts knew he wasn't NFL capable when he was at Fla. Urban Meyer built the offense around Tebow's limited passing excellent running ability and it worked. But that was college. At the pro level that doesn't work. It wasn't for lack of trying. Tebow was often cited as the hardest working player on the field wherever he was.

    He strikes me as a man living in turmoil between faith & homosexuality. His faith is one of the most important things in his life and he has been taught and accepts that his sexual attraction to men is a sin. Accepting that ideology he lives a life of constant denial. It's something he'll struggle with his entire life.

    Imagine the good he could have done if he had been raised in a Church that was accepting.

    When I first read this article I questioned why Kluwe would include Tebow but Kluwe isn't one to make that kind of mistake. Maybe this is a reachout.

    I love Kluwe and what he stands for so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Jan 10, 2014 9:04:14 PM

  16. Kluwe is a hero.

    Posted by: Mikey | Jan 10, 2014 10:47:29 PM

  17. The guy is smart and witty and a good writer. I like him and if his NFL career is over, I hope he continues his work for human rights.

    Posted by: jklmnop | Jan 10, 2014 11:31:24 PM

  18. I'm proud of Chris, he could have abandoned us when he saw exactly what his support is costing him, but he hasn't. I love him for that.

    Posted by: Ryon | Jan 11, 2014 4:52:53 AM

  19. ERNIE is right.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Jan 11, 2014 11:37:27 AM

  20. Well, Ernie....there were people who suggested that Kluwe injected himself into the debate precisely BECAUSE he saw the end of the line coming up for his career. It sounds cynical, but it has a certain logic to it.

    I admire the content of his arguments, mostly, although I think the comparison between himself and Tebow is way off. What Kluwe needs to do is re-package his message, and figure out a way to deliver it in a less off-putting way. Flies. Honey. Vinegar. Etc.

    Posted by: Ernie Has A Micro-Penis | Jan 11, 2014 11:53:32 AM

  21. Classy name there, the other Ernie. Glad you distinguished yourself from me. It got a laugh out of my husband.

    Right, Kluwe injected himself into the debate to cash in on the hugely lucrative world of supporting the freedom to marry. Yep, that makes perfect sense.

    Usually people who say they are allies, really are. And without them there's be no marriage equality.

    Sorry about your penis.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 11, 2014 12:20:35 PM

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