Friday, January 3, 2014

An NFL coach wants me dead

Anyone who has paid attention to the NFL this season should not be surprised by the Chris Kluwe column posted on on Thursday. Kluwe described in detail a homophobic coach he claims ended his career as a punter with the Minnesota Vikings.

Clearly, the NFL has taken a step back while the rest of the country moves forward on gay issues. Or maybe the NFL is exactly where it always has been -- to the right of the mainstream with a streak of anti-gay through the core. How else to explain the sudden disappearance from the NFL of gay supporters and at least one athlete in his prime who was rumored to be gay? Just coincidences? Maybe. Maybe not.

Kluwe, a straight ally who was an outspoken supporter of gay marriage in Minnesota, is out of the NFL. So is Brendon Ayanbadejo, another supporter. Both saw their careers abruptly end. Too old? Not good enough? Or too gay-friendly?

What about those football players who were supposedly going to come out before this past season ... until they suddenly crept back into the closet? Or Kerry Rhodes, one of the better defensive backs in the game, who is suddenly out of the NFL after he was rumored to be gay?

And what to make of that bizarre Aaron Rodgers interview recently where he felt obligated to declare "I really, really like women" amid gay rumors?

Yes, all are isolated events. But collectively, they send a powerful message: If you are gay -- if you so much as support gays -- you will be out of a job in the NFL. What has happened this year could send gay NFL players back into the closet for years.

So it was not surprising that there could be an anti-gay sentiment within the Vikings that cost Kluwe his career.

But as I read the Kluwe story, there was a line that stopped me cold. It was a quote that Kluwe attributed to the Vikings special teams coach, Mike Priefer: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

So an NFL coach wants me dead? Yep. He wants to put me on an island and drop a nuclear bomb on it. He wants me to disappear from the face of this earth. Family, friends, loved ones? All irrelevant to Mike Priefer.

He wants me to glow in the dark.

Yes, I know Priefer has denied saying it. Let's see if he sues Kluwe for libel. Because it's such a damning quote that Priefer would want to sue -- would have to sue -- if it wasn't true.

If he doesn't? Then it's a matter of choosing which side to believe.

And forever wondering if someday I might have to interview a coach who doesn't even know me, doesn't know anything about my life, but wants to see me dead.

Photo via Freedom To Marry / flickr


  1. So far, every voice I have heard automatically assumes Kluwe is telling the absolute truth about Priefer's homophobic comments. Why is this? And shouldn't this be fairly easy to prove? Certainly there are several players in that meeting two years ago who could either say that Kluwe is truthful or he is lying. And some of those players are probably on another team or out of football and would have no fear of reprisals from the Vikings for verifying Kluwe's story.

    All I will say is that Kluwe seems to have manifest reasons to want to blame someone else for why he is no longer employed in the NFL. And judging by his previously well-publicized comments, he has no fear of speaking unwisely and outrageously. Before he is just allowed to ruin someone else's career, let's hear from those who can validate his story.

    1. When you mention several players in that meeting that could say Kluwe is truthful or lying - you do take into account that those players could, like Kluwe, be released for some "reason' should they side with Kluwe? That possibility exists.

    2. Anyone who verifies that quote knows it could impact his career in some way. So I think it will be difficult to get independent verification. That doesn't mean Kluwe is lying.

    3. Nor does it mean he's telling the truth.
      People believe what they want to believe.
      That sort of exact quote coming from a meeting two years ago in a single source story from a source who admits his agenda upfront in a story like this is dangerous journalism.
      It's amazing how many reputable news sites picked up this hearsay quote - inadmissible as evidence in a court of law, BTW - as truth. Would the NY Times, SI, ESPN, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, etc.... have used that quote in their story, or run Kluwe's letter - without trying to verify it, or at least asking Priefer for his side?

  2. Homosexuality is defined by sex. It cannot be defined by marriage. It cannot be defined by children. And it cannot be defined by love. It is defined WHEN two folks of the same sex engage in perverted sexual acts. Were sex not involved the relationship could not be homo-sexual. Homosexuality is defined by sex. Heterosexuality is defined by God.

  3. Haven't you whibtards already done enough damage to this country, please leave football alone.

  4. In 2012 the Vikings had the 22nd best punting average out of 32 teams. How do you think that played into them drafting a new punter?

  5. My only response to someone who wants to put me on an island and nuke it is "bring it on". They are nothing more than bullies. If he said it, he's nothing more than a child in a man's body who thinks he can say what he wants. It would interesting to see how he acted if he ran into a real group of people willing to fight for gay rights. Enough being nice.