Chris Kluwe By: Fernanda Castro

Chris Kluwe graduated UCLA in 2005 where he then got drafted in the NFL. He was drafted by the Seahawks but then ended up playing with the Minnesota Vikings instead for 8 seasons. After being released from the Vikings, he played with the Oakland Raiders for a year before being released. He has a family that is made up of two daughters and his wife.
Chris Kluwe punt return with the Minnesota Vikings.

Chris Kluwe was a successful punter and broke many records for the Minnesota Vikings, which questions why he was released in 2013. Throughout his career with the Vikings, Kluwe faced obstacles that challenged his morals and beliefs as well as his spot with the Vikings.

Kluwe in action

Mr. Kluwe believed that you should stand up for what you believe in, therefore when he was approached by Minnesotans that were fighting for same sex marriage equality he decided to join them and their cause. It created conflict in his team since standing up for gay rights doesn't follow the social norms in the football world.

Kluwe speaks on the NFL culture and the risks of being openly gay in the NFL.

Kluwe being a spokesperson for same sex marriage

During this time, the society was living in the 21st century and everything was up to date and modern. However, the football world was still not as accepting to gay marriage as the rest of the society was, and still to this day football is seen as a manly sport that creates macho mindsets for the players and are expected to "be a man".

Kluwe spoke up for what he believed in with the use of social media, television interviews and speeches. He broke the status quo on football players and became a catalyst for change by using wisdom, courage and most importantly composure when going against all odds, especially his coaches.

Chris Kluwe publicized his thoughts and wrote letters to his coaches and politicians on Deadspin.

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This graph demonstrates Americans who are in favor or oppose a professional team signing a gay or lesbian player. In total 19% of American's oppose the incorporation of gay athletes.

After Kluwe speaking up on same sex marriage, The Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer teased him and used homophobic language around Kluwe and the other coaches did nothing about it. The coaches then got together and released Kluwe from the team in 2013. Supposedly his opinion on same sex marriage wasn't the reason for him being released yet Kluwe thinks differently. On the other hand, August 1st of 2013, Minnesota legalized same sex marriage.

The football world hasn't changed much, Kluwe tried to make a change but it takes more than a person to change the football culture. His goal was to support same sex and get it legalized in Minnesota because he belived everyone should be able to love and marry whoever they pleased. Luckily the Minnesotans and Kluwe were successful.

Two years later the US legalized gay marriage in all states. Kluwe retired from the NFL, wrote a book named Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies and continued to speak on social problems like our new President Donald Trump's locker room talk allegations on Deadspin.

Credits:

Created with images by Freedom To Marry - "Minnesota Viking Supports Freedom to Marry" • Tiger Girl - "Vikings VS Bears" • Joe Bielawa - "NOH8-STP-DSC_5491- 9.20.12"

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