CS85

Chris Kluwe: "Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot"

Recommended Posts

I know it's been mentioned in another thread or two and Kluwe's had an ongoing narrative with the internet social media underbelly, but this is the first time he's come out swinging against specific employers, with stuff that could qualify as libelous:

Read his story at Deadspin, then make up your own mind. Frasier was just hired by Lovie Smith as the Bucs new defensive coordinator and the Vikings are doing an internal investigation.

TL;DR: Kluwe claims his advocating for LGBT rights/marriage directly led to his release due to the personal beliefs of his bigot coaches, outs them via Deadspin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though I agree with Kluwe's beliefs, I feel like the Vikings organization was well within their right do make that move (assuming that was the reason). They are a private organization, and if an employee says something that the administration feels might bring negative press, then they have every right to do what they want to. He has the right to his opinions, but he should have been aware of the consequences that arise with speaking out through his team.

Freedom of speech only keeps you from going to jail for what you say. It doesn't mean you can spout off whenever you want while you're at work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike Priefer has denied the Chris Kluwe's allegations outright. Not "my comments were taken out of context," not "I'm sorry if I offended anyone," or any of that PR nonsense that you see bigots throw around when they get caught. He's outright denying ever making any comments like the ones Kluwe's claiming he has.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-vikings-kluwe-priefer-20140103,0,2588160.story#axzz2pX7B3C20

Now denial does not equate innocence. Thing is, at this point, it's one man's word against another's. And that's not enough to ruin a man's personal and professional reputation. Priefer should be given the benefit of the doubt until evidence comes out supporting Kluwe's allegations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

T'ain't libel if it's true. We'll see how the investigation shakes out, if they can find someone to corroborate the most inflammatory language. Going to be hard to find active players willing to testify against a coach, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The guy made millions during his NFL career. No matter what he said or whether or not I agree with it, I'm not able to generate a ton of sympathy for him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though I agree with Kluwe's beliefs, I feel like the Vikings organization was well within their right do make that move (assuming that was the reason). They are a private organization, and if an employee says something that the administration feels might bring negative press, then they have every right to do what they want to. He has the right to his opinions, but he should have been aware of the consequences that arise with speaking out through his team.

Freedom of speech only keeps you from going to jail for what you say. It doesn't mean you can spout off whenever you want while you're at work.

Well said. Boo hoo to Kluwe if he's not smart enough to realize this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said. Boo hoo to Kluwe if he's not smart enough to realize this.

Ah, geez, no, don't tell Chris Kluwe he's not smart! Now he's going to spend the next six hours telling you why he is!

Anyway, this guy is a major pain in the ass, whether he's on the right side of the argument or not. Hard to get fired up about a story where the world's biggest victim of gay hate speech is apparently, contrary to popular belief, Chris Kluwe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, good on him for taking a stand and promoting a worthy cause.

Second, the team has every right to gag its players from engaging in any type of activity that could alienate parts of its customer base, whether it be publicly taking religious stands, polititical stands, or anything else that could affect business. Many private employers do this, because their employees are often seen as representatives of the club regardless of any disclaimers stating that their statements only reflect their own personal beliefs.

So knowing the potential consequences, it's great that he still stood up for himself. If what he claims Mike Priefer said is true, then he should be expelled from the league.

All that being said, the team was in their rights to tell him to fly under the radar. He's a punter, and seems like kind of a pain in the ass. You can be a PITA when you're a star, but punters need to know their roles and shut their mouths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frankly, I'm surprised it took this long for Kluwe to speak up. I was expecting this right after he was cut in the first place.

Well, of course he waited until he was safely out of the league to break bad on it. If he had done this while he was still looking for work, it would invite the possibility that teams would decline to hire him not on merit but because they just didn't want the Chris Kluwe Internet-Ranting Traveling Medicine Show to come to town. Now that it's clear that his playing days, such as they were, are over, he can fire away. I mean, let's be honest, he's not an athlete in the prime of his career, a career I remember mostly for Devin Hester running back all his punts.

Don't get me wrong, there's absolutely no place for what he said the coach said. It's just that Kluwe isn't the most sympathetic advocate a cause has ever had. Remember the time he made a big show out of smacking down that politician/preacher from Baltimore and telling him not to worry because "the gays" won't turn him into a "lustful cockmonster"? What was that even supposed to accomplish, other than notoriety for Chris Kluwe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike Priefer has denied the Chris Kluwe's allegations outright. Not "my comments were taken out of context," not "I'm sorry if I offended anyone," or any of that PR nonsense that you see bigots throw around when they get caught. He's outright denying ever making any comments like the ones Kluwe's claiming he has.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-vikings-kluwe-priefer-20140103,0,2588160.story#axzz2pX7B3C20

Now denial does not equate innocence. Thing is, at this point, it's one man's word against another's. And that's not enough to ruin a man's personal and professional reputation. Priefer should be given the benefit of the doubt until evidence comes out supporting Kluwe's allegations.

Priefer was on the defensive last year.

http://m.1500espn.com/pages/sportswire.php?sPL=mike_priefer_felt_very_strongly_vikings_need_to_dump_chris_kluwe061913

His kid and his tweets don't help Dad out though.

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/01/homophobic_vikings_coach_mike_priefers_son_enjoys_calling_people_gay_on_twitter.php

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, a 17-year-old boy using "gay" as a pejorative is all the proof I need. That #nohomo from 444 days ago just, I mean, wow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike Priefer has denied the Chris Kluwe's allegations outright. Not "my comments were taken out of context," not "I'm sorry if I offended anyone," or any of that PR nonsense that you see bigots throw around when they get caught. He's outright denying ever making any comments like the ones Kluwe's claiming he has.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-vikings-kluwe-priefer-20140103,0,2588160.story#axzz2pX7B3C20

Now denial does not equate innocence. Thing is, at this point, it's one man's word against another's. And that's not enough to ruin a man's personal and professional reputation. Priefer should be given the benefit of the doubt until evidence comes out supporting Kluwe's allegations.

Priefer was on the defensive last year.

http://m.1500espn.com/pages/sportswire.php?sPL=mike_priefer_felt_very_strongly_vikings_need_to_dump_chris_kluwe061913

His kid and his tweets don't help Dad out though.

http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2014/01/homophobic_vikings_coach_mike_priefers_son_enjoys_calling_people_gay_on_twitter.php

BIG HUGE DAMAGING ALLEGATION STATED AS FACT IN A PICTURE AT TOP

priefer-thumb-560x378.jpg

tiny disclaimer in caption

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I'm saying. If Priefer said those things then :censored: him. Thing is I don't know if he did. It's literally one man's word against another's. That's not enough to brand a man a bigot over without collaborating evidence.

And sorry dfwabel, I'm not condemning a man based on the actions of his teenage son.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The guy made millions during his NFL career. No matter what he said or whether or not I agree with it, I'm not able to generate a ton of sympathy for him.

It's not about the money he made. He earned the money, and if the story is true then he should have earned much more than that but a bigot wouldn't let him.

And that's what the story is about. If true, it's about rampant bigotry being allowed in a workplace. Which is never okay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, if true. It's just as likely, given the info available, that it's liable/attention seeking.

I want Piefer gone if it's true, but nothing we have indicates it necessarily is. Innocent until prone guilty and all that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the only thing Chris Kluwe is guilty of is being a bad writer. Good for him for using his position of celebrity to advance a noble cause; pro athletes are super visible but, as a group, super hesitant to use their power for good.

I'm reading "Ball Four" for the first time, and there are a lot of similarities between Chris Kluwe and Jim Bouton. Both write, which is unusual for athletes, and both were willing to think differently about civil rights during their playing days, even knowing it may alienate them from their teammates. Perhaps Kluwe could have been more effective if he chronicled his thoughts like Bouton did, rather than run to Gawker each time he had an idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll see Chris Kluwe in my avatar. Partly because I rarely take the effort to change my avatar (i.e., my avatar was more timely when I put it there than it is now), but also because I am a fan. There are a ton of tangents one could go on here, including the NFL probably being in the 1980s on the whole "gay" issue and the NFL probably not even preferring that its players have any non-football-related interests. But staying closer to home:

  • I think there is plenty of plausible deniablity on the part of the team. 2012, the year in which he was most active in being an activist, was at best a down year for Kluwe. He could not get the ball out of bounds inside the 20. He went from possibly a top-10 punter to a below average punter. Throw in the fact that he was perhaps the highest-paid punter and cutting him for a rookie to make a third of his salary makes some sense. And remember, this is the same team that cut Ryan Longwell after drafting Blair Walsh one year prior, so they were a likely candidate to make such a move. The drafting of Jeff Locke (Kluwe's replacement) has not worked quite as well as Blair Walsh (who has been outstanding), but there is some sense there.
  • If anything, his persona probably assured that he would not get picked up by another team...the Raiders rightly cut him when their rookie camp invitee proved to have a very strong leg. I am not smart enough to know what punter jobs were open and whether he merited consideration, but I tend to doubt teams would want to bring him in; a non-difference maker known for making off the field news.
  • There are plenty of people in Minnesota who will forever be grateful for what he did off the field here. I absolutely love that gay marriage is here because its opponents pushed for a no-gay marriage amendment (beautiful irony). Kluwe brought attention to the issue. Without him, perhaps everything would have gone the same, but it's still appreciated.
  • Yeah he's a punter. But it's too bad that this means he has to shut the hell up. To whatever extent he is an attention whore, he's a smart, well-rounded individual that, relative to the NFL is ahead of his time. He's a unique guy (and I do think the NFL hates that), maybe to the point that he sort of lost interest in his job.
  • His letter to the Maryland senator was pretty funny, but his weakness is trying too hard to be funny. The profanity turned some people off and probably weakened his message. It became about the "outrageous" letter and not about the important messages. Then his response, the "cleaning up" of the letter was pretty stupid too. He put in phony "toned down words" in place of the "bad" words, rather than doing a serious re-write.
  • I do feel though that North American team sports need more people like him, i.e. "straight but not narrow." Yeah, we don't want our athletes and entertainers talking politics, but this is more than politics. This is a huge social equality issue and as a (now former) professional athlete, I think there is value to him and others saying "there are athletes in this macho world that are not all about gay-bashing" (which I hear from time to time is rampant in locker rooms). It's too bad that the main person willing to do this is "only a punter". It's too bad that a punter is not good enough for us to take this seriously from. It's too bad a player that would not get cut for voicing support of a touchy, unpopular issue won't step up. And they don't need to do so in a way so crass and attention-whorry as Kluwe was at times.
  • As for what he accuses Priefer of, who knows. I tend to believe him, but as a fan, I suppose I am biased. I have always seen him as an honest (sometimes to his own detriment) guy. And, I am quite certain that things along these lines still get said (though "political correctness" probably has limited some over the years). I know Prieffer had a really hard time with Kluwe's off-the-field antics last year, though that does not mean it was because Kluwe was sticking up for "the icky people." I also think that despite the fact that Kluwe likes to tell us he's smart that he actually is. Making this stuff up out of the blue would be pretty stupid.

All that babbled, I have always been on the fence as to whether or not he was cut in part for speaking his mind. But I do know that the release, in the cold world of the NFL, was valid for other reasons. I think that the "that's why I was cut" part was a bit sour-grape-y.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now