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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 (38 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-02 04:32:08 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.


Punters making over a million dollars a year are dead men walking.  He wasn't released for his outspokenness anymore than Tebow was released as part of some War on Christians.
 
2014-01-02 04:36:14 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.


But isnt this true of any job? I have told friends/family to take down crap on facebook that implicated me or themselves in bullshiat that my work didnt need to know about by doing a simple search. Some was innocent but could be interpreted differently by those who dislike me or didnt share sarcastic humor, others were blatant illegal activity mentioned about our past.

You should know how your bosses would react and then not kick the nest anymore, even if you are right you will be risking your shiat by pissing off the man who controls your fate.

Im not saying hes wrong but dont fark yourself to be right, wait until you can get the right environment where you have the freedom to do what you want.
 
2014-01-02 04:37:55 PM

Jim from Saint Paul: 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.


Kluwe was involved in a tryout for the Bengals. Those same Bengals signed Zoltan Mesko instead, who was at or behind Kluwe in those 2012 stats posted in thread. Of course, I don't think Mesko makes vet minimum either. Mesko made $540k in 2012, about half of what Kluwe made, Kluwe isn't asking "8 to 10 times as much," just the league minimum for veterans.
 
2014-01-02 04:37:58 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.


Except Kluwe was not one of the better punters in the league; he was actually quite below average and when you have a below average punter making over a million a year, they usually get cut. Why pay a guy $1.2 million to do a job that a rookie making 1/3 of that will do?
 
2014-01-02 04:38:56 PM
I choose to believe that both sides are partially right. Mike Priefer is a raging asshole and homophobe; Chris Kluwe is nothing special as a punter and not irreplaceable.
 
2014-01-02 04:40:08 PM
The NFL is about results. If he was still useful he'd be employed, regardless of his feelings about homosexuality. I'd also hazard a guess based on his history, he has a real attitude problem with authority and didn't react well to being told to tone it down. I mean shiat look how he reacted to not getting into a guild in WoW. You think an NFL team is going to put up with that from an average punter?

I'm supposed to think an NFL team will sign wife beaters, murderers, manslaughterers, druggies, and rapists but they won't sign this guy because he can't shut up about gay marriage? Seems unlikely.

/smart guy, articulate, agree with him
//but he isn't out of the league because of his viewpoints
 
2014-01-02 04:44:30 PM

js34603: look how he reacted to not getting into a guild in WoW.


IIRC, that was a rather amicable interaction on all sides.
 
2014-01-02 04:48:19 PM

js34603: The NFL is about results. If he was still useful he'd be employed


Let's not go acting like the NFL is the only organization in the world that makes correct hires all the time or as though they ever fix mistakes as quickly as possible.
 
2014-01-02 04:50:06 PM
No mention of getting beat out in Oakland...hmm.
 
2014-01-02 04:52:14 PM

WhiskeySticks: No mention of getting beat out in Oakland...hmm.


He wasn't going to beat King. That would have been a shock.
 
2014-01-02 04:52:28 PM

js34603: The NFL is about results. If he was still useful he'd be employed, regardless of his feelings about homosexuality.


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.


People need to stop making this argument. It's a terrible, terrible argument. Lots of organizations do things which hamper their results because of social/cultural factors, even if they are in a 'results driven' system. Major League Baseball banned the best players in the world for 50 years out of racism, and baseball is just as results driven as football is.
 
2014-01-02 04:52:35 PM
FTFA: Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue-some didn't agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was "messed up."

Ahh, brings me back to sophomore year of high school.  One of my friends told me this.  I was still in the Narnia setting on my closet, so did he know he was telling me I should die?  Probably not.  Did it keep me in the closet even longer?  Probably.
 
2014-01-02 04:55:52 PM
 
2014-01-02 04:56:20 PM

Kuta: Two cowards, one bigot?


Coming to Fox on Thursday nights
 
2014-01-02 04:57:10 PM

ariseatex: FTFA: Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue-some didn't agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was "messed up."

Ahh, brings me back to sophomore year of high school.  One of my friends told me this.  I was still in the Narnia setting on my closet, so did he know he was telling me I should die?  Probably not.  Did it keep me in the closet even longer?  Probably.


And he doesn't even realize that if you did that, all you're doing is creating a race of radioactive super-gays who can shoot rainbow lasers out of their eyes that turn god-fearing Christians into liberal homos.
 
2014-01-02 04:57:51 PM

Super Chronic: I choose to believe that both sides are partially right. Mike Priefer is a raging asshole and homophobe; Chris Kluwe is nothing special as a punter and not irreplaceable.


Pretty much this. Kluwe is not the best punter, but I'm inclined to believe him when he says that his opinions helped get him kicked out of the NFL with help from a trio of bigoted people. It would be different if he was a QB or some super important position, maybe.

If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.
 
2014-01-02 04:58:55 PM

desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.


Who's the say he didn't?
 
2014-01-02 04:59:28 PM

netweavr: Vikings responded already

FTFR: As an organization, the Vikings consistently strive to create a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for all of our players, coaches and front office personnel. We do not tolerate discrimination at any level. The team has long respected our players' and associates' individual rights, and, as Chris specifically stated, Vikings ownership supports and promotes tolerance, including on the subject of marriage equality.


Sounds like they'll be investigating the "nuke the gays" comment (if Kluwe's statement is accurate, there were plenty of witnesses), as it doesn't sound like the type of organization that would accept that on company time.  Priefer's days may be numbered there.
 
2014-01-02 05:00:16 PM

desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.


To be fair, he didn't accuse the Vikings organization of anything. Just a few individuals with decision influencing/making positions.
 
2014-01-02 05:02:08 PM

scottydoesntknow: ariseatex: FTFA: Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue-some didn't agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was "messed up."

Ahh, brings me back to sophomore year of high school.  One of my friends told me this.  I was still in the Narnia setting on my closet, so did he know he was telling me I should die?  Probably not.  Did it keep me in the closet even longer?  Probably.

And he doesn't even realize that if you did that, all you're doing is creating a race of radioactive super-gays who can shoot rainbow lasers out of their eyes that turn god-fearing Christians into liberal homos.


I didn't think I could get any gayer, but you're right, radioactivity could get me there.
 
2014-01-02 05:02:58 PM
The Ambiguously Gay Duo was pretty funny at the time, but I wonder if it dated well.
 
2014-01-02 05:03:26 PM
The NFL is an institutionally bigoted organization, and that will never change until Congress enacts laws making their discrimination illegal. If a player or coach uses homophobic language, they should be banned from the league immediately and without restitution.
 
2014-01-02 05:04:12 PM
And to think Minneapolis is one of the more gay friendly major cities.
 
2014-01-02 05:04:14 PM

netweavr: desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.

To be fair, he didn't accuse the Vikings organization of anything. Just a few individuals with decision influencing/making positions.


Maybe a Vikings and/or NFC North fan can fill me in, does Wilf have an overly hands-on reputation the likes of Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder, or is he hands-off?
 
2014-01-02 05:05:18 PM
Although at $1.2 million Kluwe was making more than the veterans minimum, his contract could have been restructured to bring it down to the veterans minimum  (between $715,000 and $940,000). Under the minimum salary benefit, the cap hit would be approximately the rookie minimum. 
http://overthecap.com/explaining-the-minimum-salary-benefit/
 
2014-01-02 05:05:38 PM

netweavr: desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.

To be fair, he didn't accuse the Vikings organization of anything. Just a few individuals with decision influencing/making positions.


But the same as hes getting traction for his connection to them and he is slightly alluding to them cutting him for his outspoken behavior directly related to their employees.
 
2014-01-02 05:05:48 PM
It sounds like Kluwe mistook being talented with being indispensable.
 
2014-01-02 05:06:47 PM

Piizzadude: How did the Bengals not give him a call?


No arrest record?
 
2014-01-02 05:06:51 PM

steamingpile: netweavr: desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.

To be fair, he didn't accuse the Vikings organization of anything. Just a few individuals with decision influencing/making positions.

But the same as hes getting traction for his connection to them and he is slightly alluding to them cutting him for his outspoken behavior directly related to their employees.


He explicitly notes the owner of the Vikings congratulating and agreeing with his views.
 
2014-01-02 05:07:02 PM

ariseatex: netweavr: desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.

To be fair, he didn't accuse the Vikings organization of anything. Just a few individuals with decision influencing/making positions.

Maybe a Vikings and/or NFC North fan can fill me in, does Wilf have an overly hands-on reputation the likes of Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder, or is he hands-off?


Hands-off. The Wilfs understand they made their money in shady real-estate deals, and that's what they know. They hire people who made their money in football to handle football decisions.
 
2014-01-02 05:13:21 PM

Bunny Deville: 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.


My problem with this statement is that he waited a year, figured he was not going to be signed and then made a spectacle of the situation.

Sounds like all of the bridges were dismantled before he decided to burn them.
 
2014-01-02 05:13:55 PM
I think if he stuck with the gay rights stance it wouldn't have been a big deal but then he started trashing the Pope (like it or not, Catholics do buy tickets), and then the Ray Guy patch during the game.

So they sit down and think here's a guy making 1.8M as an average punter when we can get the same production for 400K and who the hell knows what Kluwe is going to be pissed about tomorrow so......
 
2014-01-02 05:14:01 PM
Two cowards and one bigot......where it's at
 
2014-01-02 05:16:28 PM

netweavr: The Ambiguously Gay Duo was pretty funny at the time, but I wonder if it dated well.


I only recently read that the voices were Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell. Did everyone know this except me? They weren't as famous at the time.
 
2014-01-02 05:17:32 PM

Super Chronic: netweavr: The Ambiguously Gay Duo was pretty funny at the time, but I wonder if it dated well.

I only recently read that the voices were Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell. Did everyone know this except me? They weren't as famous at the time.


I didn't know that, granted if I saw the skits again I might recognize the voices.
 
2014-01-02 05:17:37 PM

Bad Man Jose: Bunny Deville: 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.

My problem with this statement is that he waited a year, figured he was not going to be signed and then made a spectacle of the situation.

Sounds like all of the bridges were dismantled before he decided to burn them.


It seems that a big reason why he held off was because there were players on the Vikings he cared about, and he didn't want to jeopardize their ability to be cohesive by stirring up shiat about the coaching staff.

Given the circumstances, I don't think there is any "right" way to handle this.  I have no doubt that if Kluwe was playing lights out, it would have been harder to justify the firing, but I still think- with the way that team runs things- they would have still let him go.
 
2014-01-02 05:20:25 PM

DamnYankees: 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.


Doesn't look like anyone responded to you, so no, that is not necessarily bullshiat.  "Outkicking the coverage" is a real thing in football, especially with punts.  If you kick it such that the receiving player has a chance to catch the ball, and then look up field, get his barrings, and start running, it makes a long return much more likely.  Distance can come at the expense of hangtime (i.e., more out than up), and it is the type of an instruction that a team with poor punt coverage might give.

Of course, it could be made up too, but nothing else in the article looks preposterous.
 
2014-01-02 05:21:37 PM

FreeLawyer: Although at $1.2 million Kluwe was making more than the veterans minimum, his contract could have been restructured to bring it down to the veterans minimum  (between $715,000 and $940,000). Under the minimum salary benefit, the cap hit would be approximately the rookie minimum. 
http://overthecap.com/explaining-the-minimum-salary-benefit/


And then after he was cut after the 2014 season he would write an article about how the Vikings made him take a pay cut because of his views on gay marriage because the Vikings capologist was a coward, too.
 
2014-01-02 05:24:02 PM

twistedmetal: Speech is not always free, and doing the right thing is sometimes costly.

/a clear conscious is priceless


So is proper spelling.

/"conscience"

s2.quickmeme.com
 
2014-01-02 05:26:23 PM
For those of you intent on educating Kluwe that it was his age and salary that cost him his job, I don't think you RTFA.

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.

In my book, Kluwe's credibility is bolstered by the very self-aware and reasoned approach he takes to this article and the other articles or interviews I have seen from him.  He's inviting attention for sure, but he doesn't have any of the earmarks of someone who values attention over the truth.
 
2014-01-02 05:30:52 PM
He probably brought it upon himself, but he is a Hero for doing it.

It has been said above that if you are not indespensible, and punters are not, then dont rock the boat.

BTW, I hope none of those coaches ever get a job in the NFL again and if anyone google's thier name it comes to this article first.
 
2014-01-02 05:32:16 PM

Transpogue: Bad Man Jose: Bunny Deville: 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.

My problem with this statement is that he waited a year, figured he was not going to be signed and then made a spectacle of the situation.

Sounds like all of the bridges were dismantled before he decided to burn them.

It seems that a big reason why he held off was because there were players on the Vikings he cared about, and he didn't want to jeopardize their ability to be cohesive by stirring up shiat about the coaching staff.

Given the circumstances, I don't think there is any "right" way to handle this.  I have no doubt that if Kluwe was playing lights out, it would have been harder to justify the firing, but I still think- with the way that team runs things- they would have still let him go.


I guess I see this more as sour grapes now when I would have seen it as courage a year ago.
 
2014-01-02 05:34:06 PM

egomann: BTW, I hope none of those coaches ever get a job in the NFL again and if anyone google's thier name it comes to this article first.


Leslie Frazier is going to be the DC for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 
2014-01-02 05:40:18 PM

machoprogrammer: Why pay a guy $1.2 million to do a job that a rookie making 1/3 of that will do?


Bingo.  They replaced him seamlessly at an enormous discount.

FreeLawyer: Although at $1.2 million Kluwe was making more than the veterans minimum, his contract could have been restructured to bring it down to the veterans minimum  (between $715,000 and $940,000). Under the minimum salary benefit, the cap hit would be approximately the rookie minimum. 
http://overthecap.com/explaining-the-minimum-salary-benefit/


There are rules relating to the MSB about cutting and re-signing a player, and while I'm not entirely sure of all the specifics, I believe the fact that Kluwe was not a free agent would have prevented the Vikings from utilizing it.  Had he signed with the Raiders (or any other team) they could have.
 
2014-01-02 05:45:09 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


Those certainly don't paint a positive picture of his punting, but they also don't paint him as someone likely to get cut because of his abilities.  Also, not only did he have an explanation for why his stats might have suffered slightly last season, but I wonder if his claim (if true) that he was statistically the best punter Minnesota had had means anything.  I noted that in Avg. punting yardage, the punters behind him in 2012 played for: BUF; WSH; PIT; GB; NE; CAR; CHI; CLE; DET.  With the exception of Carolina, those teams all have cold weather games in common.  Obviously, that could explain some of it, although I don't know what difference being inside would make (except Detroit's kicker finished last).

Anyway, it is safe to say that he did not possess enough talent to make himself irreplaceable.  On the other hand, his replacement had almost identical stats, so it seems like a stretch to believe that he was replaced solely for talent/production reasons.
 
2014-01-02 05:53:47 PM

MNMarkPW: ariseatex: netweavr: desertgeek: If I was him, I would've tried to contact the Vikings owner privately before writing this publicly. But that's just me.

To be fair, he didn't accuse the Vikings organization of anything. Just a few individuals with decision influencing/making positions.

Maybe a Vikings and/or NFC North fan can fill me in, does Wilf have an overly hands-on reputation the likes of Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder, or is he hands-off?

Hands-off. The Wilfs understand they made their money in shady real-estate deals, and that's what they know. They hire people who made their money in football to handle football decisions.


Thanks.  So it's entirely believable, then, that they knew nothing of the ST Coach's comments before now.
 
2014-01-02 05:54:42 PM

Bad Man Jose: egomann: BTW, I hope none of those coaches ever get a job in the NFL again and if anyone google's thier name it comes to this article first.

Leslie Frazier is going to be the DC for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers


I'll enjoy watching him and Lovie get destroyed twice a year by the Panthers.  Tedford, however, I have no reason to dislike.
 
2014-01-02 05:55:51 PM

boyofd: On the other hand, his replacement had almost identical stats, so it seems like a stretch to believe that he was replaced solely for talent/production reasons.


His replacement had identical stats and cost one-third as much.

Would you rather play $9 for a sandwich or $3 for a sandwich if you knew they would taste the same?
 
2014-01-02 06:00:56 PM

The_Six_Fingered_Man: Jim from Saint Paul: 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.

Kluwe was involved in a tryout for the Bengals. Those same Bengals signed Zoltan Mesko instead, who was at or behind Kluwe in those 2012 stats posted in thread. Of course, I don't think Mesko makes vet minimum either. Mesko made $540k in 2012, about half of what Kluwe made, Kluwe isn't asking "8 to 10 times as much," just the league minimum for veterans.


Easy for you to say. You can count on 8 to 10 times as many fingers as Jim from Saint Paul can.

/math is hard!
 
2014-01-02 06:09:21 PM

Yanks_RSJ: boyofd: On the other hand, his replacement had almost identical stats, so it seems like a stretch to believe that he was replaced solely for talent/production reasons.

His replacement had identical stats and cost one-third as much.

Would you rather play $9 for a sandwich or $3 for a sandwich if you knew they would taste the same?


This is fair. Though it seems strange to me that the Vikings seem to have an attitude toward the punting game that they're totally cool with an average (at BEST) outcome.
 
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