Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has never been afraid to speak his mind. Over the last few years, Kluwe has poked fun at NFL training videos on permissible hits, took shots at the owners during labor negotiations and the league's 2011 memo regarding the faking of injuries.
|Chris Kluwe voiced his support for same-sex marriage through a series of ads he helped write for Minnesotans for Equality. (Bob Leverone/Associated Press/)|
Kluwe's preferred avenue for speaking against injustices has been on Twitter, where he'd post white board drawings and messages to get his point across.
The 30-year-old punter now is taking a more direct approach, standing up for marriage equality in Minnesota, which has a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages on the ballot this November.
"Someone (from Minnesotans for Equality) contacted me on Twitter and asked if Iâd be interested," Kluwe recently told Outsports.com. "I said yes. Iâve always believed that people are inherently the same and should have the same rights and equal protection under the law. It really doesnât matter what you do with who or whom as long as youâre not infringing on someone elseâs rights. Everyone should be free to live their own life however it makes them happy."
Kluwe, who had a hand in writing the ads, noted that his brother in-law is gay, but is unable to wed his partner because it's illegal in California. Kluwe said that his relationship with his brother-in-law, however, was not a factor in his decision to speak out against the amendment.
"One of the things my parents brought me up with is that you should have equality for everyone," he said. "I would like to think I have a pretty strong sense of justice and right and wrong. (The proposed marriage amendment) is just blatant discrimination and thatâs not right, that's wrong."
With the exception of New York, which has around 70 players on current NFL rosters, none of the states that allow for same-sex marriages are major producers of NFL talent. Considering most of the NFL players coming from states unlikely to pass such ballot initiatives -- or have already struck down -- that may factor in the inability for a gay player to come out during his career.
Kluwe does sense that changing.
"It's a very machismo-type football culture," Kluwe said of the locker room. "The past 100 years of football have been about it being a 'guy's guy' sport and you have to shrug everything off and you could never show weakness. For a lot of people, they were raised that being gay is either a weakness or a sin, so it's tough for a lot of guys to get past that kind of cultural conditioning.
"But I think views are changing and I think they've changed enough to where I think that while it would be tough to come out, there would be support there."