Last week, former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe sent shockwaves through the NFL when he claimed that the Vikings dropped him from the team last year because of his outspoken advocacy of marriage equality throughout 2012. Since then, the Vikings have denied Kluwe’s claims and said that they would investigate the validity of his claims. But now Kluwe is speaking out again on the matter and defending his claims that some of the team’s leading staff members are homophobic.
In a recent interview with Sirius XM Progress, Kluwe discussed his accusation that Vikings assistant coach Mike Priefer, whom he dubbed a “bigot,” once told the team, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, then nuke them until it glows.”
“If I’m lying, I’ve handed him probably the easiest defamation of character case to be heard in the court of U.S. law,” Kluwe said. “I’m 100 percent confident in what I said happened.”
Kluwe says that several of his teammates were also disturbed by Preifer’s comments and he also says that many of them have offered up their testimonies in the upcoming investigation that the Vikings are launching into his firing.
“That is something that we talked over and that also is one of the reasons why I waited [to speak out],” Kluwe said. “I knew that once witnesses were called to testify and back me up that that could affect their careers, that could affect their future potential in the NFL. That’s one of things that in the investigation I want to make super clear. There has to be complete anonymity for the witnesses because there’s a very good chance they could be blacklisted in the NFL. Ideally, they’ll interview everyone who was on the team in 2012.”
And although Kluwe himself has seemingly been blacklisted in the NFL over his pro-gay stance, he says he doesn’t regret speaking out in support of marriage and LGBT rights.
“When it comes to playing a children’s game versus hopefully making a difference in people’s lives and getting people rights they were being denied, that’s an easy choice for me to make,” he said. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t [care about losing an income]. Getting a paycheck is to be preferred than not getting a paycheck. At the same time, I’ve had eight years in the NFL. I’ve made plenty of money. Eight years in the NFL, even at a punter’s salary, you’re making more than 99 percent of Americans will make in their lifetimes. So, at some point, you have to say, ‘OK, I’ve made enough. There’s plenty there.’ For me, it’s more important to speak and say the right thing,” Kluwe.
More noble words have never been said. Check out some other Sports LGBT allies below. – nicholas robinson