Huntington Beach resident and former Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe, who has made news for being an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage, now says that his public stance on the issue and his support of gay rights cost him his job as a punter for the National Football League team. He recently wrote a piece for the website Deadspin in which he blamed the team’s general manager and two coaches for his departure from the team ahead of this past season. He termed the special teams coach a “bigot” and the head coach and general manager as “cowards” for not standing up to him.
According to Kluwe, the GM and former head coach (who was recently fired himself) both tried to convince him to refrain from expressing pro-gay views. He also alleges that the special teams coach who fired him after eight seasons with the Vikings, despite what he contends was a good record as a punter, made homophobic slurs that affected their relationship. Kluwe quotes him as at one point saying in front of team members, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”
Although Kluwe was released from the team months ago (and has not yet been picked up by another team), he says he is coming forward now to make sure that the special teams coach, who is one of the candidates for the Vikings head coach position, “never holds a coaching position again in the NFL.” He also says he wants the other two men he named to “take a good look in the mirror.”
Although Kluwe has not so far indicated that he intends to file a lawsuit in response to his release from the Vikings, employees who believe that they have been fired or otherwise suffered retaliation for their social or political views expressed outside of the workplace have every right to hold their employer accountable. Employment attorneys can advise people on their options in such a situation.
Source: Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot, “Ex-Vikings punter: I was fired by a bigot and two cowards” Chuck Schilken, Jan. 03, 2014