This week, the Minnesota Vikings cut veteran punter
Chris Kluwe in favor of recently drafted rookie Jeff Locke.
Kluwe is well-known for his outspoken stance on
same-sex marriage and gay rights, as well as labor issues. He has publicly
advocated gay rights and put himself at the forefront of the discussion in
public and on Twitter.
While some have argued that accusing the Vikings of
cutting him because of his outspoken nature is “making a story out of nothing,”
others have said that it sends the message that players should keep their
opinions to themselves.
While Kluwe was set to make $1.45 million this year,
and Locke will be a cheaper option, Kluwe is an eight year veteran and a solid
punter and special teams player.
I’m not here to argue whether or not the Vikings cut
him for financial and performance reasons, or if it was to shut him up.
I’m here to say that it’s refreshing to see someone from
a macho, male-dominated sports culture speak up and do the right thing for the
LBGTQ community. As a typically soft-spoken person politically, I tend to keep
my opinions on complex topics to myself, but Kluwe and other public figures
courage is both inspiring and uplifting.
With NBA veteran Jason Collins coming out last week and
getting a mostly strong supportive response, and with guys like Chris Kluwe
throwing their opinion in, it’s nice to see support for a community that has
been persecuted unreasonably and unfairly for many years.
I’d like to salute Kluwe, Collins, and everyone pushing
to make acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ community part of the