Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been hit by plenty of times by defenders, but now he is dishing the biggest hit of his life by posing for OUT Magazine in their current issue to support same-sex marriage.
Kluwe has been a long-time fighter for those whom he believes are not receiving equal protection under the law. He recently spoke with CNN about making his advocacy for same-sex marriage more clear and public.
“To me, this fight is about equality and human rights,” Kluwe told the network. “The fact is, there are Americans who pay taxes and serve in our military — who defend this country — who do not receive the same legal protections as the rest of us. To me, that’s flat-out discrimination. That’s the same as segregation or suffrage.”
Kluwe has said that he is not gay, but wants his legacy to be defined by more than a punter in the NFL. He said he wants his platform to be helpful from a political sense and to be a role model for other athletes and youth.
“I’ve always relished breaking that stereotype of the dumb jock athlete because while I enjoyed athletics growing up, I also enjoyed reading and video games, and athletic sport is not what defines me as a person,” Kluwe told OUT’s Cyd Zeigler. “I think as more and more generations start rising through the NFL, a lot of these kids see that it’s OK to be something other than an athlete.”
In the interview with CNN Kluwe added: “I will defend to the death. Your right to say or do whatever you want, as long as it does not oppress other people.”
Kluwe taken action against those whom he believes have backwards views. He recently wrote a letter to Maryland pastor and political delegate Emmett Burns, Jr., who wrote to the Baltimore Ravens organization to try and petition linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo from speaking out on the same-sex marriage issue. In one paragraph he breakdowns and gives an understanding of all the issues.
“I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life,” he writes. “They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population — rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?”
Kluwe’s bold letter triggered supporting responses from all over.
He has even stated through his Twitter account that he is ready and would be willing to debate any Minnesota politician on the same-sex marriage issue and sent out 10 invitations to politicians to debate the issue on Friday. Some of the names included Representative Mary Franson, Keith Downey, and Kurt Daudt, but has yet to hear from any of them.
For right now Kluwe is one of the very few that is willing speak out despite his image, profession and the amount of money he makes. “It shouldn’t be news when someone speaks out for equality,” he said. “It should be news when someone speaks out against it.”