Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe alleged in a 3,700-word article for Deadspin that he was fired from the NFL team because of his outspoken views on same-sex marriage. But he didn’t stop there. The former player, 32, alleged he was a victim of homophobic remarks by Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
The Internet has thus been sent into a tailspin, wondering if the Kluwe is gay. But although he's an advocate for same-sex marriage, Kluwe isn't gay, according to the New York Daily News.
In Deadspin's Thursday article, titled “I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot,” the former Viking states that he can't be sure if he was outright released due to his activism, but that he is “pretty confident it was” the reason.
He continued: "The NFL has become such a corporate mindset. They want to make sure there's no distractions anywhere, ever.”
“In the ideal NFL world, you show up to play on Sundays, and that's it -- they take you out of your box and put you back in," Kluwe said. “Until we get past the idea that money is the overwhelming influence and you can't live your life at the same time, people will view activism as a distraction."
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The Vikings have since released a statement, which was quoted by ESPN, that said the team would take Kluwe’s allegations into considering and review them. It added that there weren’t any ulterior motives for his release.
"The team has long respected our players' and associates' individual rights, and, as Chris specifically stated, Vikings ownership supports and promotes tolerance, including on the subject of marriage equality," the statement read. "Because he was identified with the Vikings, Chris was asked to be respectful while expressing his opinions. Team ownership and management also repeatedly emphasized to Chris that the Vikings would not impinge on his right to express his views.
"Any notion that Chris was released from our football team due to his stance on marriage equality is entirely inaccurate and inconsistent with team policy. Chris was released strictly based on his football performance."
Kluwe acknowledged this would probably be the end of his NFL career, but that his main goal was to make sure Mike Priefer never coaches in the NFL again. As for Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman, he wants them to “take a good look in the mirror and ask themselves if they are the people they truly profess themselves to be.”
Kluwe said he waited so long to tell his story because he still has friends on the Vikings and didn’t want this to distract them during the season. Another reason, he said, is he wanted to try out for teams last season. Even though statistically he is one of the most effective punters in Vikings history, it didn’t land him a job for the 2013 season.
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