Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chris Kluwe is the Real Coward

In a recent Deadspin article, former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe claims that he was fired by "a bigot" and "two cowards" because he spoke out on gay rights issues.

I had covered this in a previous post, when Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton suggested that Kluwe was released for non-football reasons.  An extract:

Kluwe's release had nothing to do with the fact that his skills had diminished to the point of being average, yet his salary was higher than average.  It had nothing to do with the fact that the Vikings had done the EXACT same thing with Ryan Longwell (took a kicker in the draft, claimed to want "competition," had the new kicker work out at the spring rookie camp to ensure he was OK, then summarily cut the more expensive Longwell).  It had nothing to do with the Vikings looking for better performance at a significantly lower cost.  No.  According to Mark Dayton (among others - really), the Vikings instead chose to cut Kluwe under suspicious circumstances.  Yeah, that's it.  

Yet in the past six months, despite Kluwe finding one NFL job (in which he was summarily cut), and finding no others, he claims his former coaches are bigots and cowards.  But the timing of the accusations is really interesting:
  • The Vikings' coaching staff is in flux, as head coach Leslie Frazier has been fired (and subsequently hired by Tampa Bay)
  • Kluwe waited until absolutely nobody wanted him in the NFL, assuring him that his football career was indeed over
  • Release of the article, aligned with the Duck Dynasty controversy, seems a little too coincidental 
My conclusion is that the guy is a media whore, he has lost his career, his phone stopped ringing (both for his on and off the football field activities) and he needed to rekindle the fire.

Think about it.  What else is he going to do?

But for me, the ultimate concern revolves around his use of the word "coward," which was applied to coaches that he felt fired him due to his activism.  But you know the real coward in this story?  It's Kluwe.  He sat idle and mute while "bigoted" comments were made.  Then he waited until his NFL career was clearly over before raising accusations from the comfort of a magazine article.

That's cowardice.   If Kluwe truly believed what he claims to believe, he would have confronted the "bigotry" the minute it was uttered.  Kluwe, an attention junkie, had a Rosa Parks moment all teed up for him.  And yet he did nothing at the time.  So, he either doesn't really believe what he claims to believe, the event never happened, or he's a coward. 

The definition of a coward is "a person who lacks courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things;"  things like, I don't know, say confronting a "bigoted" boss in the moment, and putting your career in jeopardy.  

But that didn't happen.  And Kluwe is the true coward because of it. 

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