Friday, October 05, 2012

Chris Kluwe on His Support for Marriage Equality: "It's All About the Golden Rule"

Chris Kluwe, Minnesota Viking punter and outspoken (straight) supporter of marriage equality, is the subject of Out magazine's October cover story, one written by Cyd Zeigler, Jr. and entitled "Chris Kluwe: Kick Ass." Yeah!

Following, with added images and links, is an excerpt.

. . . With all the attention on Kluwe’s letter [to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr.], it’s easy to forget that he was, in turn, inspired by another football player, the Ravens’s Brendon Ayanbadejo [right], busy fighting his own corner in Baltimore. In November, voters in both Minnesota and Maryland will be faced with marriage equality ballot initiatives, so the high-profile stance of Kluwe and Ayanbadejo could have real and profound consequences. The positions of both men not only reflect how quickly opinion is shifting, but also spotlight the need to check our own preconceptions of the sports world as inherently intolerant and homophobic.

“I’ve always relished breaking that stereotype of the dumb jock athlete because while I enjoyed athletics growing up, I also enjoyed reading and video games, and athletic sport is not what defines me as a person,” says Kluwe. “I think as more and more generations start rising through the NFL, a lot of these kids see that it’s OK to be something other than an athlete.”

ESPN radio sportscaster, Jared Max, who came out in 2011, agrees, pointing out that the lifespan of an NFL player is much shorter than most other sports, generating faster turnover. “I strongly believe that goodness is contagious and that others will jump on board as the younger generation begins to populate the NFL,” he says, with some justification given a recent poll by, which identified 28 current NFL players who’ve expressed support for gay rights. For Max, players like Kluwe and Ayanbadejo deserve comparison to earlier taboo-busters like Branch Rickey, who broke through Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers in 1945.

But for Kluwe, taking a stand on gay rights is as instinctual as planting his foot into a ball. “It’s all about the Golden Rule,” he says. “Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s that simple. It’s something that needs to be spoken about, and it’s something I can do while fulfilling my job as a football player.”

To read Cyd Zeigler Jr.'s "Chris Kluwe: Kick Ass" in its entirety, click here.

For more of Chris Kluwe at The Wild Reed, see:
What a Man! – Chris Kluwe
Quote of the Day – September 27, 2012

Related Off-site Links:
Meet Gay America’s Favorite Straight Guy, NFLer Chris Kluwe – John Aravosis (, October 1, 2012).
Former NFL Player Matt Willig on Marriage, Catholicism, and a Gay Teammate – Cyd Zeigler, Jr. (, October 3, 2012).
Homosexual Relationships: Another Look – Bill Hunt (The Progressive Catholic Voice, September 8, 2012).

Opening Image: David Bowman

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