Chris Kluwe is the Minnesota Vikings punter, for now. He has been an advocate for the rights of gay players in the NFL. Most players and coaches continue to be less than supportive on the issue. The Vikings may have taken a step to remove him from the team.
Today, the third day of the NFL draft, Minnesota selected UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round. Only quarterbacks are allowed to speak their mind on public issues. Never a kicker. For example, last season special teams coach Mike Priefer said he was tired of Kluwe and his stance on social and public issues. In one game he covered up the “Hall of Fame” patch on his jersey with a sign that said “Vote Ray Guy”. The message was that a punter has never been inducted into the Hall.
Kluwe is scheduled to make 1.45 million dollars this season. Last year the Vikings cut veteran kicker Ryan Longwell to make room for 6th round draft pick Mike Priefer out of Georgia. Longwell was cut before training camp.
When Kluwe was contacted about the situation, he said: “I’m hoping I get a chance to compete,” Kluwe said in a phone interview. “If not, we all get cut eventually and I’ll just have to go and find another job.”
Kluwe averaged 39.7 yards per punt, which was the best net average of his career but ranked 17th league-wide.
“The only thing I can do is keep doing what I’ve been doing and punting to the best of my ability,” Kluwe said. “Statistically, I’ve been the best punter the Vikings have ever had.”
Columnist-The Guardian Express