Former Minnesota Vikings NFL punter Chris Kluwe has not been able to find work in the league since his release from the Vikings during last offseason. Not so much because of his punting skills but reportedly because of his positive views towards same-sex marriage.
|Former Minnesota Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe.|
For the record, the DraftKingsMaster supports same-sex marriage as well as overall gender equality in all walks of life.
If these allegations from Kluwe in a recent Deadspin article is true, the NFL has an issue and instead of putting all of the focus on making sure the players are doing the right thing, the coaches should be looked at as well & should be made to go through some kind of sensitivity training.
In the workplace, everyone knows that politics & religion are two areas that should not be discussed at all. It seems that marriage beliefs should be included in that. With all of the situations taking place in the league right now regarding culture in the locker room including personal beliefs, bullying, hazing, etc., this story is coming out at the perfect time.
In the Deadspin article, Kluwe said that he would speak as a private citizen as the Minnesota Vikings requested of him, which is completely understandable because as a representative of the NFL, the teams can’t be considered as representing the views of the league in any other way but the field of play. If that was the case & Kluwe was able to speak on his own accord, he should be allowed to speak openly about his views on same-sex marriage or anything else he would like.
He later wrote intensive conversations he had with Head Coach Leslie Frazier about the views and speaking out in public on those, as well as GM Rick Spielman and assistant coach Mike Priefer, who Kluwe called a “bigot” in the piece.
We are adults, here. We know that people are not going to agree in consensus on just about anything in the world now, but the fact that Kluwe spoke up and is saying the obvious – that people should have the equal rights across the board & should be allowed to be happy & spend the rest of their lives with the people that they truly love, no matter the sex.
But it seems as though the NFL has a bit of an issue with that type of thinking, in some circles. I love the NFL, I absolutely love football & sports as a whole, but it is clear that the NFL, at times, as a culture that is depicted as something that would be out of Animal House, but only of millionaire athletes. With the recent case of the Richie Incognito & Jonathan Martin with the Miami Dolphins, and the fact that Martin left the team because of the bullying situation, it shows that there are far deeper, underlying issues that all leagues most likely need to examine and make an example of for future athletes.
Players & staff should be free to express who they are as individuals, and while there are consequences for those actions – such as Kluwe losing his job with the Vikings – the fact that he is practically blackballed from the NFL because he supports equality is absolutely wrong, and hopefully NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will take a hard look at the overall NFL culture & work to make some changes in the workplace somehow.
Some people have also written that Kluwe could have an ax to grind with the Vikings for cutting him, which is absolutely a possibility. Most times, however, many players take the cut from a team and continue to just move on with their careers, and if there is any amount of talent in them that can help out an organization, a team will sign them to be an asset for a limited time.
However, it looks as though Kluwe will be leaving the NFL with so much to give as a punter, only because he has a backbone & wants to stand-up for what he truly believes as a man. In a world where we our children look up to athletes for their ability on the field of play, the leagues have to understand that athletes do have ideas, brains & thoughts on life & issues within it.
Yes, it could lead to possible issues within the lockerroom, media & public, but that is the risk that is taken when you speak your heart in any form of work, which is why I do believe it will be a long time before you see a prominent player in the NFL, NHL, MLB, or NBA come out as gay, lesbian or transgendered.
I do believe that we will never see Kluwe as an active NFL player again, which is a shame if he can perform, but whether you believe what he says or not, its nice to see an athlete stand for something instead of fall into the PR spin of the league or team they play for.