Chris Kluwe is now the Bay Area's story maker.
Kluwe made his first news as a member of the Oakland Raiders, but it had nothing to do with football. Go figure.
Kluwe declined an invitation from the White House to attend a Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender event. The reason cited was that he had practice with the Raiders. At no point was it mentioned that he isn't gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, yet he has become the face of a cause of which he is not a member. He simply feels a passion for his campaign for equality.
Kluwe posted a picture online of the letter he wrote in declining the invitation, addressing it to "Dear Mr. President (or whoever reads these things, I'm sure he's probably pretty busy (hello underappreciated email answering person!))"
Kluwe used his signature wit in spelling out the reason for needing to decline: practice.
"I would really really REALLY like to be there, but unfortunately not even the President of the United State is allowed to supercede an NFL mandatory mini-camp practice (at least insomuch as I understand the new CBA, though I could possibly be mistaken) … if anything else were to ever come up, it would be my distinct honor to attend. Unless we have a game. Or practice. Or mandatory hot yoga classes (we don't really have those)."
Kluwe also suggested he could make a late dinner if an F35 were to pick him up after practice, but admitted it "seems an extremely unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars."
The Kluwe advocacy campaign has retained some of its residual effect back in Vikings country. Adrian Peterson, who was asked to explain his views on gay marriage thanks to Kluwe's advocacy and the two of them being former teammates, was pressed into response again in a story out of Oklahoma that hit the national headlines when ESPN picked it up.
In the interview, Peterson said he wouldn't have a problem with having a gay teammate, but might be uncomfortable in a shower setting with a gay man. It opened up an unnecessary can of worms that Peterson has unwittingly become party to. In some circles, A.P. been branded as a homophobe – for no reason other than exercising his right to free speech, just as Kluwe has so often in recent months and years.
Kluwe continues to make news that garners media and social networking attention. But, seeing it from a distance instead of being at Ground Zero of the national debate, there are likely people around Winter Park that are quietly happy the debate has shifted to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area and left Minnesota. The residual questions remain, although it appears only Peterson is being singled out to make his reaction/feelings public, but while the debate rages, at least Eden Prairie isn't a focal point anymore.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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