UPDATED: Chris Kluwe Says He Was Fired By Two Cowards & A Bigot For Gay Marriage Advocacy

chris-kluwe-360x250Outspoken former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has broken his silence about his dismissal from the team earlier this year, which many speculated had something to with his marriage equality advocacy. In an Op-Ed for Deadspin, Kluwe confirms that his advocacy was indeed a factor and blames two cowards and a bigot, in particular: Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, general manager Rick Spielman, and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, respectively.

Kluwe, clearly out of fucks to give, reminisces about his notorious letter to Maryland delegate C. Emmett Burns defending fellow gridiron tragedy/straight ally Brendon Ayanbadejo, his burgeoning activism and some sports-related stuff in the lengthy article. Secure in the belief that his football career is over (especially now), Kluwe proceeds to go in on Frazier, Spielman and especially Preifer, whom Kluwe describes as virulently homophobic:

Throughout the months of September, October, and November, Minnesota Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer would use homophobic language in my presence. He had not done so during minicamps or fall camp that year, nor had he done so during the 2011 season. He would ask me if I had written any letters defending “the gays” recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance. I tried to laugh these off while also responding with the notion that perhaps they were human beings who deserved to be treated as human beings. Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible. He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed. I felt uncomfortable each time Mike Priefer said these things. After all, he was directly responsible for reviewing my job performance, but I hoped that after the vote concluded in Minnesota his behavior would taper off and eventually stop.


Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue—some didn’t agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was “messed up.”

Though Priefer’s comments and actions were “messed up,” Kluwe also blames Frazier — who was also recently “let go” from the team — and Spielman for lacking the “fortitude” [read: balls] to stand up to Priefer.

Kluwe stops short of calling the NFL homophobic, however, instead arguing that there are certainly people who are homphobic, just like in all walks of life. Despite the end to his career, Kluwe seems at peace with how things played out, advising readers to “never be afraid to do what’s right. If no one ever says anything, nothing ever changes.”

Even if he has to hang up his Rockette heels (that’s what punters wear on formal occasions) at least Kluwe has a future as an author of not only wonderfully scathing letters, but magically-titled books as well.


Following an official statement from the Minnesota Vikings stating there will be a thorough review of Kluwe’s allegations, Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer issued a statement of his own in which he flat out denies the claims made by the former punter. Priefer said:

I vehemently deny today’s allegations made by Chris Kluwe.

I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member.

The primary reason I entered coaching was to affect people in a positive way. As a coach, I have always created an accepting environment for my players, including Chris, and have looked to support them both on and off the field.

The comments today have not only attacked my character and insulted my professionalism, but they have also impacted my family. While my career focus is to be a great professional football coach, my number one priority has always been to be a protective husband and father to my wife and children.

I will continue to work hard for the Minnesota Vikings, the Wilf family and all of our loyal fans.

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  • Scribe38

    The Lions need a decent kicker… I would love to have you in town

  • 2eo

    Thank you for this information.

    It will be put to very good use.


    Hopefully this will shut up those two idiots and their insane pollyannish regurgitation of NFL PR spiel. But hey what can you expect from a Log Cabin power-toadying sychophant.

  • Rob91316

    I always snicker at these kinds of stories. We now have tons of scientific data that proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that homophobia stems from one’s own repressed, self-loathing, homosexual leanings. The more homophobic and outspoken about it you are, the more likely you are to be a closet case of the highest order.

    And right on cue we have the notoriously homophobic NFL — coaches, teammates, managers, whatever — going around smacking each other on the ass, ogling each other naked in the locker room, and straddling each other doggy style and piling one on top of another out on the field. It really doesn’t get any gayer than that — and since it’s all on ample display for the entire planet earth to see via the teevee machine, anyone with a modicum of common sense can put two-and-two together.

    Based on Mike Priefer’s comments, I can tell you with utmost confidence that he is gayer than a twink in a rainbow wig and high heels riding atop a gay pride parade float. And I would bet my last red cent that he is routinely getting his dick sucked in airport terminals and park restrooms like the despicable, cowardly, down-low, self-loathing closet case he clearly is.

    Kudos to Chris Kluwe for outing these assholes.

  • mcflyer54

    Good for Kluwe this country needs more people with backbone. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing. Than you Chris.

  • Tackle

    Wow! This man sticks his neck our out for us, Risking his lively hood. Ultimately loosing his job for our cause, and he gets very little thanks and support from us. We are so damn greatful. Aren’t we?

  • sportsguy1983

    Sorry, but he was fired because of his numbers were down, he is aging, and he was costing the team too much. He is just trying to gain sympathy for being released. Shame on him for blaming his being fired on a serious issue.

  • hephaestion

    Kluwe is my hero! Bravo to him for exposing the slime-wads at the Minnesota Vikings. How did Minnesota get taken over by so many rightwing nutcases?

  • jasentylar

    @sportsguy1983: I totally agree. Where was he when these things allegedly went down? If Mr. Martin in Miami can speak up when he’s being harassed, why not Mr. Kluwe? Yeah, something’s not right there…..

  • Sukhrajah

    @Scribe38: – Keep your dirty Lion paws to yourself – he’s all mine. We NEED him in Miami!

  • Sukhrajah

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Seriously – you’re snarky – no surprise – but those guys are doing a service to the community that no one else had the dignity to. If you’re so opposed to their message – either work for them and change it from inside – or make your own. I understand that you don’t like them – but the time for us to support our fellow brothers is now. Maybe they need some of your snarky sass to make their product better. Please, reach out to them, and see if you can help…

  • AuntieChrist

    @Rob91316: Some studies have shown that people who are homophobic are more likely to have repressed homosexual desires…But there is a whole range of homophobia…I am so tired of blanket statements, the psychology around homophobia is a little more complex…And then there is the religious aspect…In sports it is often perceived as a threat to masculinity..

  • AuntieChrist

    @sportsguy1983: Well I think you are wrong…I believe Mike Freeman when he says that NFL players have been blacklisted because they are gay. I agree with Will Leitch when he says that Aaron Rodgers’ need to deny rumors about being gay are indicative of a league that, if anything, is becoming even less receptive to an out player. And I agree with Chris Kluwe when he says that his individual stance on this subject, taken apart from other players and the league — even if he has the tacit support of many within the NFL — has kept him from having a career. He’s just so easy to replace.

  • Kangol


    You’re so right; look at Brendon Ayanbadejo’s dismissal too, and the difficulty that Kerry Rhodes has had in getting a position, despite still sharp skills, since he was outed by his ex/assistant/roommate/guypal.

    As much as things are changing over all in society, homophobia still exists, and there are still homophobic people throughout pro-sports organizations. They may be wary of voicing homophobic thoughts publicly, but in private, as Kluwe’s experience has shown, they are not so ready to change their beliefs or attitudes.

    I do often wonder whether most (or at least many) pro team sport players would really care that much if they had an out gay teammate. Would teammates really freak out if Jason Collins were playing alongside them?

  • MK Ultra

    @AuntieChrist: I agree. Well said.

  • Scribe38

    @Sukhrajah: you guys took joey Harrington from Detroit years ago and I was heart broken, so you cant have kluwe. Ok so what Harrington sucked, he was so hot.

  • sportyguy1983

    It is a sad statement that Chris Kluwe can’t accept the fact he is past his prime. Kluwe, Ayanbadejo, Rhodes, and Collins not playing professionally are based on production and future production. Professional sports is about winning and if you can help your team win (or it is believed you can help the team win), then you will be given a contract (Look at Ray Lewis and Michael Vick with serious criminal records/issues to just name a few).

    I am sure the fact that he is planning to write a memoir (why does he think he needs to write one?) had NOTHING at all to do with his coming out with his allegations as to why he was released. He isn’t at all trying to get attention for it to be published and bought.

    He is playing the sympathy card and it is a sad statement on him.

  • balehead

    It’s all about money….it always is…

  • AuntieChrist

    @sportyguy1983: Just because you call yourself sporty guy doesn’t make you an authority on all things sports related…Sounds like someone is hitting their 30s and freaking out a bit..Don’t worry honey, unless you’re fat or especially ugly you can get laid for about 10 more years…Even if there is a pearl of truth in your comments, Kluwe has been a champion for gay rights possibly to his detriment and deserves our support…He seems like a good person with a beautiful wife and family…And you’re being a know it all ASS…

  • AuntieChrist

    @balehead: Anymore astounding revelations..? Idiot..

  • krystalkleer

    met him last summer at PRIDE…super nice guy…and DIRECT!…CHRIS ROX!

  • Rob91316

    Oh, how predictable. Today we get the obligatory damage control statement from Priefer with the usual “I’m not homophobic — I have family members who are gay” defense. Yep, as soon as they come out with “I have family members and/or friends who are gay/black/ Hispanic/Muslim/atheist/[insert minority group of your choice],” that to me is the final confirmation that they are, in fact, the bigoted assholes they’re being outed as. Do you think Kluwe would make this shit up and subject himself to a multi-million dollar libel/defamation suit? It’s all true, folks — and the only reason Priefer is upset is because someone finally had the balls to call him out. Time to hand in your resignation, dumb ass — you’re DONE!!!!

  • jasentylar

    @Rob91316: You think Priefer’s done?! HA. He’s a white male in his coaching prime. He’s done when HE wants to be done. Not to mention the guy for the 49ers said even more offensive shit about gays/athletes and he is still on their roster. Remember he said it during last year’s super bowl media event. There are plenty of people that should be done (Aldon Smith anyone) and they are not. This league only cares about whether you can still be of use and if you’re not too much of a distraction. Why do you think people still employed Pac Man Jones?

  • jasentylar

    @AuntieChrist: I supported Kluwe until this nonsense. I say its nonsense because he should have said something when it happened. Jonathan Martin did. Why couldn’t he? Right…as he said…he wanted to make more money. He wanted to see if he could get a job somewhere else in the league. Otherwise, this story would not have seen the light of day. Ally my ass. More like a when its convenient for him ally.

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