Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe ignited a firestorm Thursday with a column for Deadspin claiming he was released by the Vikings for his pro-LGBT advocacy. The story revolves around the actions of Vikings coordinator Mike Priefer saying he wants to round up all the gay people and "nuke" them.
Kluwe told Outsports via phone that he has kept quiet knowing this public revelation signals his death knell in the NFL, and because he still knows good guys on the Vikings. However, he's long had the intention to make this story public, saying the only way to make change is to expose the issues at hand.
Is Aaron Rodgers gay? When rumors become problems
Innocent speculation is one thing, but the attempted outing last week of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers does all harm and no good.
"Unless we force ourselves to confront the truth, and we as a society decide that this is enough, then it's going to keep happening," Kluwe said. "I feel people should know, you do run a risk by being someone who openly stands as a cause that's socially just. And unless you take that risk, nothing is going to change."
He said that the language by Priefer was particularly startling because of how rare it is in an NFL locker room. He said he had never heard any language like that before from any coaches or players. Despite perceptions, players regularly say that anti-gay language and slurs simply aren't present in NFL locker rooms.
"I never had any problem with my teammates in the locker room, even the guys I disagreed with," Kluwe said. "If they wanted to talk about it, it was fine. It's not like I tried to shove it in their faces. I don't remember anyone telling me that I was distracting."
Now Preifer is claiming he doesn't tolerate discrimination and is pro-gay. As proof of his pro-gayness, he claims he has gay family members (despite some horrible anti-gay tweets by his son, including the lovely hashtag #instafag).
"It's the old I-have-a-black-friend-so-I'm-not-racist argument," Kluwe said. "My guess is he talked to a lawyer and the lawyer said to put it out there in strong terms. For me, I have witnesses who were there and saw it happen. It's nothing I would have said if I couldn't prove it."
The ball is now in the NFL's and Vikings' court. An investigation needs to take place. If Priefer said these things about killing all the gay people, it goes far beyond the Biblical defenses we've heard from the likes of Duck Dynasty and others.
- Is Aaron Rodgers gay? When speculation becomes problematic.
- Chris Kluwe: Cut by Vikings for gay activism?
- Chris Kluwe: My special teams coach was a homophobe who wanted to 'nuke' all gay people
- Aaron Rodgers: 'I'm not gay'
- Jason Collins coming out featured in Google TV ad on most memorable moments of 2013
- Podcast: Looking back at the big LGBT sports stories of 2013
- NFL: Let the playoffs begin