Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris
Kluwe says he has no regrets about speaking out in support of gay
marriage, despite his claim that it cost him his NFL career.
In 2012, Kluwe called on Minnesota
voters to reject a proposed constitutional amendment defining
marriage as a heterosexual union. After the referendum was defeated,
Kluwe helped rally support for lawmakers to approve a law allowing
gay couples to marry in the state.
He was cut from the team last year.
In a scathing op-ed published earlier
this month, Kluwe said that he was fired from the team by
special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer, whom he called a “bigot,”
and two “cowards”: then-head coach Leslie Frazier and general
manager Rick Spielman.
Kluwe alleged that Priefer made several
anti-gay comments in the course of objecting to his advocacy on the
issue of marriage equality and quoted Priefer as saying during a team
meeting, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island,
and then nuke it until it glows.”
Priefer immediately and “vehemently”
denied the charges. The Vikings responded by hiring outside counsel
to investigate the claims.
During an appearance CBC
Radio's Q, Kluwe said that he had witnesses to back up his
account of events but worried that teammates who stepped forward
would be ousted from the NFL.
“These are guys who are still playing
in the league,” Kluwe said. “And, if what I'm saying is true,
which I believe to be true since I have witnesses backing it up, that
they have to worry about their careers. They have to worry about,
'Okay if this guy got drummed out of the league, then that could
potentially happen to us, if we get tarred with that same brush.'”
When asked if he had any regrets, Kluwe
answered: “I'm sad that it had to come to this, but at the same
time I don't regret anything, because it was definitely worth