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(Deadspin)   Chris Kluwe tells the story of how he was an NFL player until he was fired by "two cowards and a bigot"   (deadspin.com) divider line 253
    More: Interesting, Chris Kluwe, NFL, Brendon Ayanbadejo, Rick Spielman, fair catch, Zygi Wilf, Ryan Longwell, cartilage tear  
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2183 clicks; posted to Sports » on 02 Jan 2014 at 4:05 PM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-02 01:39:11 PM  
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, or greased in this case.

I like Kluwe and thought he was doing fine at his job and should still be in the NFL. How did the Bengals not give him a call?

I guess it should have waited until he retired though in hindsight. Especially when you are playing at a position that 20 other guys can do.
 
2014-01-02 01:44:20 PM  
Kluwe is a really great guy and has demonstrated his bona fides, so I'm very much inclined to believe him here. Mike Preifer should be fired.
 
2014-01-02 01:49:31 PM  
The NFL thinks homosexuals are icky.  They will continue to think so until instructed otherwise by the men running the show.
 
2014-01-02 01:52:59 PM  
On Sept. 10, I was once again called into Leslie Frazier's office. Coach Frazier asked me if I was going to keep speaking out on the matter of same-sex marriage and equality. I responded that I was, and I related what Zygi Wilf had said to me at the game the day before. Coach Frazier looked stunned and put his hand across his face. He then told me: "Well, he writes the checks. It looks like I've been overruled."

It sounds to me like Leslie Frazer is a raging homophobe.  Which is not what I'd expect from a man named Leslie.
 
2014-01-02 01:54:33 PM  
I got his book for Christmas, and have been reading it. He's really a good writer and a funny guy.
 
2014-01-02 01:54:43 PM  
I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.
 
2014-01-02 01:56:38 PM  

Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.


No one likes a guy who rocks the boat and upstages the team.

Except when it's a guy like Tim Tebow the whole Christ thing is considered a "positive"
 
2014-01-02 02:06:21 PM  

Rincewind53: Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.

No one likes a guy who rocks the boat and upstages the team.

Except when it's a guy like Tim Tebow the whole Christ thing is considered a "positive"


Man could you imagine the outrage if a coach told Tebow to cool it with the Jesus stuff?

Kluwe will find work. It won't be with the NFL (he admits he's burning this bridge by publishing the article), but he's too smart to not find something. Hell Blizzard should hire him as a PR spokesman.
 
2014-01-02 02:06:23 PM  

Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.


Can someone contextualize Kluwe's stats a little? Last year I heard people saying he wasn't a good punter.
 
2014-01-02 02:09:42 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Man could you imagine the outrage if a coach told Tebow to cool it with the Jesus stuff?


Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone told him that.
 
2014-01-02 02:10:02 PM  

DamnYankees: Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.

Can someone contextualize Kluwe's stats a little? Last year I heard people saying he wasn't a good punter.


He goes over that in the article.
 
2014-01-02 02:10:26 PM  

DamnYankees: Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.

Can someone contextualize Kluwe's stats a little? Last year I heard people saying he wasn't a good punter.


He had a shiatty game against the Bucs, but overall his stats were inline with previous years. Last year (2012) he punted 45 yards average, and only 2 other years beat that average (2008/2011). He also had the highest net punt average of his career in 2012. He says he dipped in some areas because the coaches asked him to ("don't punt so far because our special teams coverage sucks at getting down-field to stop them").
 
2014-01-02 02:13:04 PM  

Nabb1: He goes over that in the article.


Oh ok. I haven't finished it yet (its pretty long), but I skimmed it to see if he addressed this issue. Probably just missed it.
 
2014-01-02 02:14:01 PM  
You hear a lot that the NFL doesn't want people who rock the boat. It isn't about speaking up for marriage equality, it's about speaking up. If you're part of a team, you're not supposed to draw extra attention to yourself and cause a distraction for everyone else.

The truth is probably that teams don't want people like Kluwe to speak up because they have coaches like Mike Priefer who they put more value in.
 
2014-01-02 02:14:20 PM  

scottydoesntknow: He says he dipped in some areas because the coaches asked him to ("don't punt so far because our special teams coverage sucks at getting down-field to stop them").


That sounds like a pretty bullshiat excuse. I'm inclined to believe Kluwe for political reasons, so I want to make sure I'm taking into account holes in his arguments.
 
2014-01-02 02:21:37 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: It sounds to me like Leslie Frazer is a raging homophobe.  Which is not what I'd expect from a man named Leslie.


I don't think there's any evidence in TFA that Frazer is a homophobe at all.
 
2014-01-02 02:23:37 PM  

DamnYankees: Marcus Aurelius: It sounds to me like Leslie Frazer is a raging homophobe.  Which is not what I'd expect from a man named Leslie.

I don't think there's any evidence in TFA that Frazer is a homophobe at all.


Now that I RTFA, I have to agree.
 
2014-01-02 02:49:56 PM  

Rincewind53: Nabb1: I'm no football expert, though I do argue about it on the internet a lot, but there is little doubt in my mind that the Vikings go rid of Kluwe because of his outspokenness. He was definitely one of the better punters in the League, the best Minnesota had ever had, and I was rather surprised when the Vikings drafted a punter in the fifth round.

No one likes a guy who rocks the boat and upstages the team.

Except when it's a guy like Tim Tebow the whole Christ thing is considered a "positive"


It would be like Duck Dynasty10
 
2014-01-02 02:54:49 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Man could you imagine the outrage if a coach told Tebow to cool it with the Jesus stuff?


I can just see him literally hanging himself from a mock crucifix in front of the stadium.
 
2014-01-02 03:08:30 PM  
It's interesting reading something like this in light of all of the "no one cares" comments about Aaron Rogers.
 
2014-01-02 03:12:25 PM  

propasaurus: It's interesting reading something like this in light of all of the "no one cares" comments about Aaron Rogers.


Well the clear difference is that Aaron Rodgers did not come out (who knows what his orientation is he's entitled to be who he wants) but if he had, I think a lot of people, particularly within the NFL, very much would have cared. The situation would certainly be effected by the fact that he's indispensable unlike a punter, but people would have cared.
 
2014-01-02 03:27:04 PM  
Speech is not always free, and doing the right thing is sometimes costly.

/a clear conscious is priceless
 
2014-01-02 03:35:25 PM  
I figured something like this had happened. I'm glad he had the courage and integrity to stand up for his beliefs, but I miss watching him play.
 
2014-01-02 03:36:37 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: Which is not what I'd expect from a man named Leslie.


All I know is that you never call a man named Leslie "Shirley."
 
2014-01-02 03:50:14 PM  
The allegations about Pfeifer's behavior are fairly damning. Not shocking or surprising at all really, but you can't do that shiat in the workplace. As we've seen this year, the NFL might do well to remember that its teams are still, at the base, employers and subject to the laws that govern any business when it comes to the workplace environment. Being derided by your immediate superior for differing political views is against the rules.
 
2014-01-02 03:54:47 PM  

Shame Us: The allegations about Pfeifer's behavior are fairly damning. Not shocking or surprising at all really, but you can't do that shiat in the workplace. As we've seen this year, the NFL might do well to remember that its teams are still, at the base, employers and subject to the laws that govern any business when it comes to the workplace environment. Being derided by your immediate superior for differing political views is against the rules.


Honestly, shiat like this is why people do get upset when prominent gay people refuse to come out. Just hypothetically, imagine if AP was in that room, and that he was gay*. Does he not have a responsibility to speak out? To show Pfeifer that he's full of shiat, and show everyone else its unacceptable?

Coming out and showing people that their perceptions about minority X or Y are wrong is really important.


* Just hypothetical. I know literally nothing about AP's personal life other than his son died.
 
2014-01-02 04:04:19 PM  
Saw this posted on another board - seems a little damning:

Here are the stats for Kluwe the year he was released.

*31st in NFL in punts inside the 20
*22nd in NFL in avg punt yardage
*32nd in NFL for long punt
*17th in NFL in net yardage
 
2014-01-02 04:06:01 PM  
Playing devil's advocate here,

Jeff Locke is currently making $405k (rookie minimum), as opposed to Kluwe's 2012 $1.3 million salary.

Comparing Kluwe's 2012 stats vs Locke's 2013 stats, they were practically the same player.

Considering Kluwe's previous injury issues, isn't it possible they were just trying to minimize salaries, and find a player who was less of an injury risk, especially if there wasn't a noticeable performance drop?

Just because he's the best punter in Vikings history, doesn't mean he's a good punter. I think this article from May does a good job of illustrating that:
http://thebiglead.com/2013/05/06/chris-kluwe-was-released-beca use-of -p unting-not-because-of-preaching/

It all just seems like speculation to me.  Yeah there are issues if the coach actually made those comments, and that should be addressed, but that doesn't mean that's the reason he was fired, especially if he had support from the owner.
 
2014-01-02 04:07:07 PM  
The response to this from the jocksniffer set should be interesting.

We'll surely get some "sanctity of the locker room" bullsh*t mixed with a dose "who cares? why is this a story" and a dash of some derivation of "shoving it down our throats."
 
2014-01-02 04:09:51 PM  
Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?
 
2014-01-02 04:10:14 PM  

DamnYankees: scottydoesntknow: Man could you imagine the outrage if a coach told Tebow to cool it with the Jesus stuff?

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised at all if someone told him that.


Jake Plummer told him that. It was during Timmy's lucky streak.
 
2014-01-02 04:11:23 PM  
img2-1.timeinc.net

ask this gent from north dallas about toeing the team's party line.
 
2014-01-02 04:11:36 PM  

sigdiamond2000: The response to this from the jocksniffer set should be interesting.

We'll surely get some "sanctity of the locker room" bullsh*t mixed with a dose "who cares? why is this a story" and a dash of some derivation of "shoving it down our throats."


(Non-Spartan) Warrior Code!
 
2014-01-02 04:13:20 PM  
It's cool and all to throw the special teams coach under the bus, but shouldn't we wait for some validation from other players that he actually did say the homophobic stuff before branding him with the rainbow iron?


/Nah, this is the Internet!
//Those waitress no-tip receipts were real too!!!!
 
2014-01-02 04:13:21 PM  
sigdiamond2000:  "sanctity of the locker room" bullsh*t mixed with a dose "who cares? why is this a story" and a dash of some derivation of "shoving it down our throats."

/warrior code
 
2014-01-02 04:13:25 PM  

netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?


RTFA.  It's toward the bottom.
 
2014-01-02 04:13:38 PM  

netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?


FTA: Some will ask why I waited so long to tell this story. It's a fair question, and I have two answers. The first is that I still have friends on the Vikings, and opening up something like this during the season would not help them focus on their jobs. By doing it now, I hope they don't have to answer questions about an issue that concerns only four people, and I hope the issue will have died down before next season starts.

The second is that I wanted to prove I still had the physical ability to compete in the NFL. I can still hit the ball 45 yards outside the numbers with good hangtime, and at the tryouts I've had this year I've gotten praise from the scouts and personnel people on hand, but for whatever reason I cannot find a job. (Side note: My numbers from last year would put me right in the middle of the pack for this year, and I've traditionally been in the middle to top third of punters each year).

However, it's clear to me that no matter how much I want to prove I can play, I will no longer punt in the NFL, especially now that I've written this account. Whether it's my age, my minimum veteran salary, my habit of speaking my mind, or (most likely) a combination of all three, my time as a football player is done. Punters are always replaceable, at least in the minds of those in charge, and I realize that in advocating noisily for social change I only made it easier for them to justify not having me around. So it goes.


He wanted to see if another team would pick him up. Now that he's decided (or resigned to the fact) he won't ever play in the NFL again, might as well air his grievances, even if Festivus is over.
 
2014-01-02 04:13:52 PM  

netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?


Read TFA - he explains that.
 
2014-01-02 04:16:32 PM  

scottydoesntknow: netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?

FTA: Some will ask why I waited so long to tell this story. It's a fair question, and I have two answers. The first is that I still have friends on the Vikings, and opening up something like this during the season would not help them focus on their jobs. By doing it now, I hope they don't have to answer questions about an issue that concerns only four people, and I hope the issue will have died down before next season starts.

The second is that I wanted to prove I still had the physical ability to compete in the NFL. I can still hit the ball 45 yards outside the numbers with good hangtime, and at the tryouts I've had this year I've gotten praise from the scouts and personnel people on hand, but for whatever reason I cannot find a job. (Side note: My numbers from last year would put me right in the middle of the pack for this year, and I've traditionally been in the middle to top third of punters each year).

However, it's clear to me that no matter how much I want to prove I can play, I will no longer punt in the NFL, especially now that I've written this account. Whether it's my age, my minimum veteran salary, my habit of speaking my mind, or (most likely) a combination of all three, my time as a football player is done. Punters are always replaceable, at least in the minds of those in charge, and I realize that in advocating noisily for social change I only made it easier for them to justify not having me around. So it goes.

He wanted to see if another team would pick him up. Now that he's decided (or resigned to the fact) he won't ever play in the NFL again, might as well air his grievances, even if Festivus is over.


Fair enough, it hurts the credibility here, but doesn't eliminate it.

The Vikings and NFL should respond.
 
2014-01-02 04:18:21 PM  
Regardless of why he was released, this Vikes fan was sad to see him go. If he was released for his speech, we'll never know because his play was mediocre enough and his salary was high enough to (almost) justify it. Kind of hard to explain why he is out of work though. That he, Ayanbadejo , and Collins are all out of work is... interesting.
 
2014-01-02 04:18:49 PM  
Two cowards, one bigot?
 
2014-01-02 04:19:57 PM  

netweavr: Why is this only being published now if he wrote it last April?


The TL;DR is that he was hoping to continue his career in the NFL, and also right now the main bigot in the story is a contender for the head coaching job.
 
2014-01-02 04:20:42 PM  
eh in the nfl its a results driven league, you can be mouthy all you want so long as you are good at what you do.

however if you are a borderline guy and make some controversial comments, well good luck somewhere else because you're cut.

there has to be a reason he didn't sign on with anyone else if he could still play

/drtfa
 
2014-01-02 04:21:30 PM  
I think this has 25% to do with  what he was saying and 75% to do with him making headlines.

Being a punter and causing headlines is not good, especially when your headlines are irritating a segment of your customers.
 
2014-01-02 04:21:31 PM  
Someone outspoken who creates a divisive attitude from the coaching staff got axed from a football team!?  You don't say!?

/dude, you are a punter
//unless you can kick 100 yard punts, you were going to get canned if you weren't quiet - didn't matter what subject you talked about
 
2014-01-02 04:22:37 PM  

DamnYankees: Saw this posted on another board - seems a little damning:

Here are the stats for Kluwe the year he was released.

*31st in NFL in punts inside the 20
*22nd in NFL in avg punt yardage
*32nd in NFL for long punt
*17th in NFL in net yardage


Well, "long punt" is a stupid stat to cite. But yeah, he was a mediocre punter. So the reason he probably can't get a job is for another reason - otherwise someone would go ahead and pick him up for minimum; after all, half the teams have guys who are below average.

But the added "hassle" from an organizational perspective probably isn't worth it, even if you agree with his politics.
 
2014-01-02 04:29:35 PM  

IAmRight: DamnYankees: Saw this posted on another board - seems a little damning:

Here are the stats for Kluwe the year he was released.

*31st in NFL in punts inside the 20
*22nd in NFL in avg punt yardage
*32nd in NFL for long punt
*17th in NFL in net yardage

Well, "long punt" is a stupid stat to cite. But yeah, he was a mediocre punter. So the reason he probably can't get a job is for another reason - otherwise someone would go ahead and pick him up for minimum; after all, half the teams have guys who are below average.

But the added "hassle" from an organizational perspective probably isn't worth it, even if you agree with his politics.


He is below average. Why pay him a vet minimum when you can draft a guy and pay him the rookie minimum?

Kluwe is a great person and I really admire him, but he was a below average punter. Was he let go because of his outspokenness? Maybe. Was he let go because he wasn't worth what they were paying him? Maybe
 
2014-01-02 04:29:44 PM  
So if he was so good..why is he not playing anywhere again?

I am *NOT* disagreeing with him about his firing.

I am saying there is this whole attitude of "Whelp, I could never get hired again" about him.

"But Jim from Saint Paul, no one wants an old punter."

No, no one wants an OLD punter who asks for money 8 to 10 times as much as a young one does. There's a difference.
 
2014-01-02 04:29:45 PM  

farbekrieg: eh in the nfl its a results driven league, you can be mouthy all you want so long as you are good at what you do.

however if you are a borderline guy and make some controversial comments, well good luck somewhere else because you're cut.

there has to be a reason he didn't sign on with anyone else if he could still play

/drtfa


Veteran minimum salary is a good reason. The read I get is that they wanted to get rid of him and he gave them a way. Of course, he contends that the reason his averages were down is because they asked him to increase hangtime and shorten his kicks to reduce returns.
 
2014-01-02 04:30:47 PM  

IAmRight: DamnYankees: Saw this posted on another board - seems a little damning:

Here are the stats for Kluwe the year he was released.

*31st in NFL in punts inside the 20
*22nd in NFL in avg punt yardage
*32nd in NFL for long punt
*17th in NFL in net yardage

Well, "long punt" is a stupid stat to cite. But yeah, he was a mediocre punter. So the reason he probably can't get a job is for another reason - otherwise someone would go ahead and pick him up for minimum; after all, half the teams have guys who are below average.

But the added "hassle" from an organizational perspective probably isn't worth it, even if you agree with his politics.


His minumum is more than the league minimum since he's a vet.
 
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