Vikings' Kluwe: NFL players changing attitudes toward gaysby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter who has made his position against the proposed ban on same-sex marriage public, said Wednesday he's received "overwhelmingly positive" feedback on his comments.
"People really like the fact that I came out and said what a lot of people seem to be thinking," Kluwe told MPR's Morning Edition.
Kluwe's letter to a Maryland politician who opposes same-sex marriage was made public earlier this week. In the letter Kluwe writes, "You know what having these rights will make gay Americans? Full-fledged citizens, just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that that entails." The letter also contained profanity.
CHRIS KLUWE LINKS
• Original letter on Deadspin (caution: profanity)
• Defending profanity at TwinCities.com
• Kluwe on Twitter
"I do regret some of the language used because it put the Vikings in a tough position. As a football organization they have to appeal to a broad fan base, but at the same time it's a message that I stand behind 100 percent and I felt needed to get out," Kluwe said.
Kluwe said his teammates have been supportive. He acknowledged that the NFL has had a reputation of being homophobic in the past, but he said that's changing.
"With the younger generation of players, you see this progressivism. You see guys realizing that it's not about who you sleep with because it doesn't affect them. It doesn't personally affect them if gay marriage happens or not," he said.
Still, he said it would be difficult if an NFL player decided to come out.
"It will take a team and locker room that the player knows supports him and it will have to be a player that is willing to deal with the distractions of being the first person who comes out openly and is still able to perform at a high level," he said.
Kluwe is working with Minnesota advocacy groups urging a "no" vote on the constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, which Minnesotans will vote on in November.
"For me, civil rights issue," he said. "One group of people is trying to control another group of people that just wants the same rights that everyone else has. Fifty years from now, when our children look back at us, what are they going to think about us? What are they going to say about what side we were on?"
- Morning Edition, 09/12/2012, 7:20 a.m.