Advocating for gay rights will get you fired?
At the time of his release a year ago former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe took the high road, saying he didn’t think his high-profile gay activism was the reason for his being dismissed.
Now, it seems, Kluwe is changing his tune.
Via KARE 11 reports:
In a letter he wrote on April 30, published Thursday on Deadspin.com, Kluwe labeled former head coach Leslie Frazier and current Vikings General Manger Rick Spielman as cowards, and blasted special teams coach Mike Priefer as a bigot. Kluwe wrote that he suspects he was released from the Vikings due to his public stance in support of gay marriage.
Kluwe says his letter was written following the NFL draft when the team selected another punter, a signal to him that the Vikings were done dealing with him.
“The following is a record of what happened to me during my 2012 season with the Minnesota Vikings, written down immediately after the 2013 draft in April, when I realized what was happening, and revised recently only for clarity,” Kluwe writes. “I tried to keep things as objective as possible, and anything you see in quotes are words that I directly recall being said to me.”
In the letter Kluwe alleges that Frazier twice attempted to silence his public comments in support of gay marriage, recalling that his head coach told him “a wise coach once told me there are two things you don’t talk about in the NFL, politics and religion.”
Kluwe says that throughout the fall of 2012 special teams coach Mike Priefer repeatedly used homophobic language in his presence, something he had not done before Kluwe started commenting publicly on gay marriage.
“He would ask me if I had written any letters defending ‘the gays’ recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance,” Kluwe writes in Deadspin.com. “I tried to laugh these off while also responding with the notion that perhaps they were human beings who deserved to be treated as human beings. Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible. He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed. I felt uncomfortable each time Mike Priefer said these things. After all, he was directly responsible for reviewing my job performance, but I hoped that after the vote concluded in Minnesota his behavior would taper off and eventually stop.”
Kluwe maintains that both Spielman and Frazier lacked the fortitude to deal with Priefer, and that his dismissal was not related to performance. He also said he never plans to kick again, and that his motivation for writing the letter is so Priefer will never hold another NFL coaching position again.