Kluwe: NFL catching up on acceptance

Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was a speaker at a book festival and said he believes the NFL is "slowly realizing" it needs to catch up with society on the acceptance of gay players.

Chris Kluwe is no longer an NFL punter. An internal investigation is finally completed into allegations Kluwe made about the coaching staff and front office of the Vikings – calling general manager Rick Spielman, then-head coach Leslie Frazier and special teams coach Mike Priefer to the carpet – was supposed to be completed by now but no results have been announced.

In the end, it may require a court to decide if Kluwe's release was based on his price tag and lack of performance-per-dollar or based on his advocacy of causes.

Kluwe may not be getting any calls from NFL teams, but he is still working. On Saturday, he was a speaker at the Festival of Books, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. The festival featured a book that is a collection of essays and short stories written by Kluwe that are about as concise as his book title – "Beautiful Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football and Assorted Absurdities." Printed in June, it's currently maintaining its place in the top 85,000 books being sold by Amazon.com.

As expected, the topic of openly gay players in the NFL was asked during the Q&A portion of the discussion, and Kluwe said the difference in attitude toward same-sex marriage and how it pertains to the NFL is a generational issue that most players don't have a problem with, but those of the age group that comprise owners, front-office types and coaches have a much bigger issue with acknowledging marriage equality.

"I think the NFL is slowly realizing that they need to catch up with the rest of the population," Kluwe said.

He has a solution: deal with it, NFL. He thinks the paradigm shift will take place and that acceptance of gay players will become irrelevant when it comes to scouting or signing a player, reminding those in attendance that the NFL is accustomed to making money and will continue to seek prosperity – even if it means changing long-held attitudes.

"If they don't (catch up with society) then they'll start losing money," he said, "and the NFL hates losing money."

MONDAY NOTES

  • Six weeks into free agency and Kevin Williams not only remains on the open market, there has been no discussion of teams contemplating bringing Williams in for a visit. The Vikings ship may have sailed, but it would seem the asking price has dropped to the point that perhaps the Vikings could consider bringing Big Kev back as a situational defensive tackle and full-timer if needed or he proves he can still get it done on incentive-based deal. After the draft may be too late if they have an interest in letting a future Ring of Honor inductee leave the only franchise he's ever played for on his own terms.

  • This weekend, Chad and Jennifer Greenway donated the fifth "Chad's Locker" of his career when they dedicated the donation at the Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul. The Chad's Locker program is part of Greenway's Lead the Way Foundation, which provides support to chronically-ill children and their families. The locker is filled with iPads, laptops, gaming systems and cell phones so that multiple children and their families can find a respite from the stress that monopolizes so many of their days.

  • To the dismay of Vikings fans, not only are the Giants interested in potentially signing Josh Freeman, so are the Bears. It's understandable that they would want to pilfer Jared Allen, but, at this point, Freeman would seem to be subtraction by addition.


    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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