Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has been on the off-field defensive team for same-sex couples’ right to marry in Minnesota. This week he penned a letter to a Maryland politician who wants NFL players to be blocked from expressing support for marriage equality.
Kluwe’s defensive statements came this past week, after Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo spoke out for marriage equality in Maryland, where voters will decide the issue on the November ballot. Ayanbadejo’s outspokenness prompted a letter from Maryland state Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., who asked Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.”
Kluwe answered with a letter addressed to Burns, beginning, “I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words).”
Kluwe, in colorful language, said in his first point that the lawmaker seemed unaware of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.
He then responded to Burns’ statement that many footall fans oppose gay marriage "and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement."
Kluwe wrote, “Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s ‘deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland’? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have ‘no place in a sport’? I can’t even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for ‘beautiful oppressionism’).”
In his third major point, Kluwe wrote, in part, “This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life?”
Ending the letter, Kluwe wrote, “Best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.”
But he added a P.S.: “I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your ‘I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing’ and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.”