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Chris Kluwe defends Ayanbadejo on gay marriage

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is one of the more outspoken players in the NFL. Whether it's taking shots at NFL owners during labor negotiations, the performance of the replacement officials or marriage equality in Minnesota, Kluwe is not bashful when it comes to giving his opinion and standing behind it.

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So when Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo -- who spoke out in favor of marriage equality in Maryland, where an initiative is on the ballot this November -- was the subject of a letter sent by Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti urging him to "inhibit such expressions" from his employee, Kluwe sprang into action. He penned a profanity-laced letter to Burns explaining his view on marriage equality that was published on Deadspin.com on Friday.

Kluwe, whose brother in-law is gay, actively has been involved in the advertisements in support of marriage equality in Minnesota. On Friday, the 30-year-old punter explained his letter on KARE-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. He also appeared on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."

"I see it as a civil rights and freedom of speech issue," Kluwe said. "I mean, people should be free to support causes like gay marriage and equality and it's really just kind of discouraging to see a state representative come forward and say 'No you should be silent because you're a football player.' That's not the message that I think the government should be sending.

"The gay marriage part is very important. I believe strongly about that as well," Kluwe said, "but ultimately it comes down to this is is a man trying to speak out about something he feels passionate about. And why should you try and muzzle it?"

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.

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