1. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton believes Vikings officials were dishonest in the reasons given for the release of punter Chris Kluwe.
2. There has been speculation Kluwe was cut for being too outspoken with LGBT rights issues.
Yahoo Sports argued, “Kluwe never asked if it was his activism that cost him his job. The Vikings never offered the thought even as the answer loomed obvious to everyone else. Two football players have spoken loud for gay rights issues in the last several months, specifically gay marriage: Kluwe and Brendon Ayanbadejo. Both have been cut.”
As for the financial issue of keeping a player on the team, Sports writer Les Carpenter noted that , “While Ayanbadejo was a financial burden for the Ravens, Kluwe was a modest budget strain to the Vikings; he was scheduled to make $1.45 million in 2013.”
3. The AP reports that both the Vikings and general manager Rick Spielman have been, “adamant that the decision was strictly football related.”
Officials stated they cut him early to give him a better chance at signing with another team.
4. Gov. Dayton stated at a news conference:
“Yeah, I don’t feel good about it…I’m not in a position to evaluate the relative punting abilities, but it seems to me the general manager said, right after the draft, they were going to have competition…Well, they bring the one guy in, he kicks for a weekend and that’s competition?”
6. Another outspoken NFL player, Brendan Ayanbadejo, was recently released from the Baltimore Ravens.
7. Ayanbadejo told Newsday about his release:
“I was a vocal guy and garnered a lot of attention. I brought a lot of issues with me to the Super Bowl and the issues came up at the Super Bowl. My bark is louder than my bite. I make a lot of noise and garner a lot of attention for various things off the football field. When that starts happening, why do you have that player around?”
8. He later clarified that the release did not stem from his LGBT activism:
The Ravens have been backing me, they knew my stance for years and have been facilitating me and organizing me with LGBT and set me up with Equality Maryland. They helped me. If they didn’t like what I was doing, they would have cut me a long time ago.”
9. After being cut, Ayanbadejo discussed the possibility of a few gay NFL players coming out with the Baltimore Sun:
With both Ayanbadejo and Kluwe cut from their respective teams, the supposed momentum towards a current NFL player may experience a bit of a hiccup. Whether or not their terminations were connected, in part, to their LGBT advocacy, it’s hard to see how letting these players go will make it any easier for a closeted NFL player to come out.