Monday, April 29, 2013

Punter Chris Kluwe says he may lose his job over his gay marriage stance

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe believes his days with the team may be numbered and said his pro gay marriage stance could be the reason he might lose his job.

On Sunday, Kluwe said he is starting to sense that rumors surrounding whether or not he will be released from the team will soon become "distractions."

"It’s a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut," Kluwe told NBC’s Pro Football Talk via text message.

Kluwe's outspoken view on the controversial topic might be one reason the Vikings selected UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Kluwe, along with former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, hired a lawyer earlier this year who submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Kluwe has repeatedly spoken out on the topic over the past year while addressing the question of whether the NFL is ready for an openly gay football player.

During last year’s season, Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer criticized Kluwe for wearing a homemade patch that supported Ray Guy’s candidacy for the Hall of Fame.

"Those distractions are getting old for me, to be quite honest with you," Priefer said at the time.

Ayanbadejo, who was cut by the Ravens earlier this month, suggested that the decision was influenced by his support for same-sex marriage.

"I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention," Ayanbadejo said at the time.

"I brought a lot of issues with me to the Super Bowl and the issues came up at the Super Bowl. …My bark is louder than my bite," he said.  "I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?"

It remains to be seen if Kluwe has been barking too loud for the Vikings.

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