Dan Neckar firstname.lastname@example.org
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 national discussion.