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Kluwe thinks first gay player will have “biggest marketing opportunity in 50 years”

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Vikings punter Chris Kluwe isn’t gay.  But if he were, we suspect he’d gladly announce it.

He’d do it because, in his mind, people are people and they should be who they are, and the rest of us should accept it.  But there would be a collateral benefit, in Kluwe’s opinion.

“The first gay athlete to come out will have endorsement deals the likes of which you’ve never seen,” Kluwe told Bob Costas on Tuesday’s Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network.  “Think about Gatorade, think about Nike, think about those huge companies that want to stamp their brand, their logo on this generation’s Jackie Robinson.  You’re telling me that’s not the biggest marketing opportunity in 50 years?  I mean, it’s huge.”

Kluwe, who recently debated a chair on the topic of same-sex marriage, thinks the NFL is much closer to being ready to accept a gay player than it was when he arrived.  “When I first got in the league, you could definitely tell the older guys, the seven- and eight-year vets, they’d grown up in the ’80s and ’90s and that influenced their way of thinking and the way they acted towards each other,” Kluwe told Costas.  “Now that I’m one of the seven- and eight-year vets, I look at the rookies coming in and it fills me with hope that these guys, they just, they don’t really care about what other people do with their lives because it doesn’t affect them.  They realize that other people should be free to live their own lives, you know, should be free to get married to who they want because at the end of the day, they’re allowed to get married to whoever they want.  So you know, I’m hopeful for the future and hopefully we can dispel this stereotype of the NFL being this macho, close-minded culture.”

When it happens, it will be a big deal for the player’s team — for a little while.

“I think it’s something that will receive media attention for probably a good week and a half, two weeks, but it will die down because people will realize it doesn’t matter what your sexuality is when you’re out on the field on Sunday,” Kluwe said.  “It matters can you play football?  Can you help us win football games?  And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you’re sexuality is.  So hopefully we’ll be able to do our part to create a more welcoming culture so that someone feels comfortable in coming out and one day people will be able to be who they are.”

It’s a simple yet eloquent vision.  People will be able to be who they are.  Every sports team, company, and institution should aspire to that standard.

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60 Responses to “Kluwe thinks first gay player will have “biggest marketing opportunity in 50 years””
  1. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 24, 2012 3:42 PM

    No one is preventing anyone from being who they are. If you want to talk about what kind of people you choose to have sex with, who is stopping you?

  2. pickleman77 says: Oct 24, 2012 3:44 PM

    It would be huge, but it’s already been done. Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx came out publicly a few weeks ago…I’m sure it’d be a bigger deal if an NFL player came out, but her Lynx teammates couldn’t care less about her sexuality. They welcome her on the court and the locker room. It’s neat to have a front row seat for the civil rights movement of my time. (I’m 35.)

  3. gogetembolts says: Oct 24, 2012 3:45 PM

    Touche Chris Kluwe, touche.

  4. prince5000 says: Oct 24, 2012 3:46 PM

    interesting perspective, but i still think we are no where near this happening.

  5. shackdelrio says: Oct 24, 2012 3:47 PM

    True or false: A player that is openly gay would be more widely accepted in an NFL locker room than a player that is openly an atheist.

  6. tombradysponytail says: Oct 24, 2012 3:47 PM

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  7. thisshiziswack says: Oct 24, 2012 3:49 PM

    Not possible to be a gay football player…

  8. blackstonevalleykettlebells says: Oct 24, 2012 3:50 PM

    Please stop with this political correct nonsense. This is Bob Costas trying to be a trend setter garbage.

  9. domezo says: Oct 24, 2012 3:51 PM

    Well said.

  10. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 24, 2012 3:55 PM

    Bigger than a scrub back-up QB who prays and thanks Jesus. Oh, I doubt it.

  11. azarkhan says: Oct 24, 2012 3:56 PM

    “People will be able to be who they are.” As long as you don’t run afoul of political correctness, you can be who you are.

  12. vikesfansteve says: Oct 24, 2012 3:56 PM

    Wish he put in as much work on his punts and tackling as his self promotion on Twitter.

  13. hieveryone12345 says: Oct 24, 2012 3:57 PM

    Why are the punters always the people saying all these news making quotes? No offense to them, but really they only play about 10 plays a week.

  14. southpaw2k says: Oct 24, 2012 3:57 PM

    Seems a bit exploitative for a player to come out as gay and then have brands such as Nike, Gatorade, or Subway to cash in on using a gay athlete for their advantages. Shouldn’t the gay community find this idea fairly offensive?

  15. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 24, 2012 4:00 PM

    It would be a circus.
    There would be so much speculation that the reason they got cut, didn’t start, didn’t get an opportunity, or rather got an opportunity was because of their openness.

  16. nyyjetsknicks says: Oct 24, 2012 4:00 PM

    That’s true to an extent. The player would have to be on a northeast or west coast team. If it happened in some flyover state, there would be backlash. The ever so loving Christians would flip out and demand him to be traded.

  17. schmitty2 says: Oct 24, 2012 4:01 PM

    Announcing your gay would be easier than announcing you’re a Vikes punter

  18. waraggie says: Oct 24, 2012 4:02 PM

    Jeff Garcia just came out of……retirement.

  19. packmanfan says: Oct 24, 2012 4:02 PM

    In team sports if they all had their own separate changing rooms and showers with a lock on the door, I think it would be no problem for a gay athlete to come out.
    But since I’m not gay, I don’t really care. It’s their issue. Not mine.

  20. filthymcnasty1 says: Oct 24, 2012 4:02 PM

    It’s nice to see Kluwe sticking up for Ponder.

  21. greysolon says: Oct 24, 2012 4:04 PM

    Kluwe, like most modern “open-minded thinkers” is tolerant about others’ beliefs as long as they match his own. If you don’t follow along with the accepted opinions you receive a hate-filled diatribe. Ain’t “tolerance” wunnrful?

  22. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 24, 2012 4:07 PM

    As long as he’s not a QB or center. That would make the snap very interesting.

  23. tokyomanblastersmom says: Oct 24, 2012 4:11 PM

    So many people want Tim Tebow to shut up about his faith…

    “Keep it to yourself. Faith should be private, not advertised publicly and shoved down people’s throats.”

    If you hold THAT opinion of Tebow, but don’t find Kluwe’s self-righteous sanctimonious condescending lectures to be annoying, you may want to pick up the nearest dictionary and search for the term: “hypocrite”

  24. smartanis says: Oct 24, 2012 4:20 PM

    Sounds like an absolutely fabulous opportunity.

  25. kxlllxst says: Oct 24, 2012 4:42 PM

    Chris Kluwe loves to talk about a lot of stuff

  26. mikebyrne1502 says: Oct 24, 2012 4:49 PM

    What he’s saying is only half true because although there are many “opened minded” athletes in the nfl, just like the rest of the world there are going to be athletes who don’t believe in it, or their faith describes gays as an abomination, or just plain don’t feel comfortable with it, and I’ve never heard the NFL come out as any “anti-gay” organization. If anything “don’t ask don’t tell”

  27. winkeroni says: Oct 24, 2012 4:49 PM

    If he’s right about the endorsement deals, it may be wise for someone that was unwise with their money earlier in their career to jump on that opportunity.

  28. apmn says: Oct 24, 2012 4:52 PM

    Don’t tell TO and Chad Johnson about this. They could use some of that endorsement cash.

    Those two would take the term “drama queen” to a whole ‘nutha level.

  29. jibberator says: Oct 24, 2012 4:57 PM

    What does orientation have to do with football? Just play the game!

  30. magnumpei says: Oct 24, 2012 4:57 PM

    Comparing gay athletes to Jackie Robinson and thinking they’ll get huge endorsement deals too?

    I thought this guy was a football player, not a comedian.

  31. jibberator says: Oct 24, 2012 4:58 PM

    Lets have all the NFL rapists come out and have us accept them too!

  32. jokendave says: Oct 24, 2012 4:59 PM

    I don’t care what you believe as long as you don’t care what I believe. Your faith or your sexual preference is none of my buisness. Just don’t force your buisness(either one) on me and I won’t force my buisness on you. Its that simple folks.

  33. muathjam21 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:00 PM

    And what will football players get if they announce they’re straight?

  34. trojanwarrior007 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:01 PM

    Kluwe should take his own advice.

  35. 808raiderinparadise says: Oct 24, 2012 5:01 PM

    Why would Tom Brady come out? He already has endorsement deals and endless money?

  36. blackandbluedivision says: Oct 24, 2012 5:17 PM

    pickleman77 says:
    Oct 24, 2012 3:44 PM
    It would be huge, but it’s already been done. Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx came out publicly a few weeks ago…I’m sure it’d be a bigger deal if an NFL player came out, but her Lynx teammates couldn’t care less about her sexuality. They welcome her on the court and the locker room. It’s neat to have a front row seat for the civil rights movement of my time. (I’m 35.)
    _______________________________

    She announced she was engaged to a woman back in May. I’d be surprised if she announced she was straight.

  37. bathroomben7 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:22 PM

    The NFL should get rid of allowing dedicated kickers and punters. They should make kicks have to be done by someone who plays another position, you know a real player. I’m tired of seeing enormous wimps get to suit up on a football field.

  38. tannethrill says: Oct 24, 2012 5:23 PM

    Comparing to Jackie Robinson is a bit much. Difference being Robinson was unable to hide what was unaccepted at the time.

    The point of someone coming out should be that it’s not a big deal anymore and frankly if that person financially benefits from it then it likely won’t come off as genuine as it should.

  39. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:31 PM

    As much as he talks about it, Kluwe might be THAT GUY.

  40. Mr. Wright 212 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:32 PM

    blackandbluedivision says: Oct 24, 2012 5:17 PM

    pickleman77 says:
    Oct 24, 2012 3:44 PM
    It would be huge, but it’s already been done. Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx came out publicly a few weeks ago…I’m sure it’d be a bigger deal if an NFL player came out, but her Lynx teammates couldn’t care less about her sexuality. They welcome her on the court and the locker room. It’s neat to have a front row seat for the civil rights movement of my time. (I’m 35.)
    ————

    Of course they couldn’t care less. 3/4 of women’s basketball players are lesbians.

  41. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Oct 24, 2012 5:35 PM

    filthymcnasty1 says:Oct 24, 2012 4:02 PM

    It’s nice to see Kluwe sticking up for Ponder
    —————————————————–

    Have you seen Ponder’s girlfriend? Hotter than you will ever land, thats for sure!

  42. richc111 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:38 PM

    Shortly after the 1st gay NFL player comes out. Than comes the 1st discrimination case because he was cut. Then comes the requirement for their own showers and locker rooms. But of course that would be a good place to have him count all of his money he is getting from the dozens of endorsement he got. Do you know that the latest estimate puts gay and lesbian make up less than 3% of the total population? Doesn’t sound like a big target market to me. Maybe Kluwe should ask how JC Penny is making out. Since they named Ellen as their national spokesperson their stock is down over 50%. Just leave sex out of it, No body cares who is having sex with who, so why should you

  43. das5k71 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:44 PM

    It will not and should not ever happen

  44. raidersteveo says: Oct 24, 2012 5:46 PM

    Tim Tebow already has a bunch of endorsements though!

  45. granadafan says: Oct 24, 2012 5:55 PM

    How awkward would that be if he was a WR on Tebow’s team and in the South?

  46. mjkelly77 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:55 PM

    pickleman77 says:Oct 24, 2012 3:44 PM

    It would be huge, but it’s already been done. Seimone Augustus of the Minnesota Lynx came out publicly a few weeks ago…I’m sure it’d be a bigger deal if an NFL player came out, but her Lynx teammates couldn’t care less about her sexuality. They welcome her on the court and the locker room. It’s neat to have a front row seat for the civil rights movement of my time. (I’m 35.)
    ______________________

    Now gay women I can understand. Who wants to look at some other guy’s hairy ass?

  47. greysolon says: Oct 24, 2012 6:09 PM

    You know we are knee-deep in political correctness when some mid-level punter gets more media attention than most star players.

  48. ajchargers says: Oct 24, 2012 6:25 PM

    I wish people would quit putting him down for being a punter. He’s human. Just like the rest of us. But then again, I’m just one of those “equality supporters”, what the hell do I know.

  49. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Oct 24, 2012 6:49 PM

    Its funny that you guys put him down for being a punter. He works maybe 10 plays a game and makes seven figures. How many of you make that kind of money….NONE that’s how many. And if in the off chance one of you maybe does, you don’t do it working as little as he does.

  50. 2ndaryinsanity says: Oct 24, 2012 9:08 PM

    @ thankheavenfornumberseven…. this is not about sex. It’s about a gay man feeling comfortable enough to talk about his husband/partner in the same manner straight men talk about their wives. Straight men generally don’t share explicit details about having sex with their wives to other men. It’s about a gay man not feeling like he has to pretend to be someone he isn’t.

  51. jokendave says: Oct 24, 2012 11:24 PM

    I look it this way. You label yourself as a gay. Thats fine, but your telling me you have sex with your gender, none of my buisness. You tell me about your husband or partner and I don’t care, thats your buisness. Tell me I have to accept against my beliefs, and that your beliefs are more important than mine. Well you can’t expect someone to just change to make you feel good about yourself. You have to be confident in what your doing no matter what. And fair, lifes not fair. deal with it.

  52. dcollins8 says: Oct 24, 2012 11:46 PM

    Really this generations Jackie Robinson. This isnt a civil rights issue. What a moron

  53. brewdogg says: Oct 24, 2012 11:49 PM

    greysolon says: Oct 24, 2012 4:04 PM

    Kluwe, like most modern “open-minded thinkers” is tolerant about others’ beliefs as long as they match his own. If you don’t follow along with the accepted opinions you receive a hate-filled diatribe. Ain’t “tolerance” wunnrful?
    ——————————-

    There is a world of difference between denouncing someone for living their life as they wish to, in a manner that has no effect on other people unless they choose to allow it to do so, and denouncing someone who wishes to deny another person the rights and respect that others receive freely because of those choices.

    There was a time when black men and women were property, to be bought and sold and destroyed at their owners whim. Some people thought that was wrong. Some people did everything they could to make sure that the accepted social standard did not change. Who was right?

    There was a time when women were considered the property of their father until they were married, and then they became the property of their husband. No rights to vote or hold office, no right to own land or possessions, and working outside of the home was frowned upon even when it was allowed. Some people thought that was wrong. Some people did everything they could to make sure that the accepted social standard did not change. Who was right?

    When will it be acceptable in this “land of the free” for all people to receive all rights equally, regardless of the differences they hold from the socially acceptable mainstream. When will it be acceptable in this “home of the brave” for people to stand up and speak when they believe that an injustice exists without being ridiculed publicly?

    It is not intolerant if a person refuses to tolerate intolerance.

  54. stellarperformance says: Oct 25, 2012 12:30 AM

    I didn’t care for this guy the first time I read one of his missives, but the more I learn about him, the more I like. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, and his head and heart are in the right place.

    -signed,

    old school Packer fan.

  55. competitivecompetitioncompeter says: Oct 25, 2012 2:55 AM

    southpaw2k says: Oct 24, 2012 3:57 PM

    Seems a bit exploitative for a player to come out as gay and then have brands such as Nike, Gatorade, or Subway to cash in on using a gay athlete for their advantages. Shouldn’t the gay community find this idea fairly offensive?

    —————————————————-

    You must not have a Pride parade in your town. Bud Lite, Absolut, Barefoot Wine, all have giant rainbow sponsorship banners, and promo schwag booths. Pretty sure the gay community is used to branding-sploitation… mostly because that population has fewer children and consequently greater surplus income, but hey.

  56. CKL says: Oct 25, 2012 4:18 AM

    southpaw2k says: Oct 24, 2012 3:57 PM

    Seems a bit exploitative for a player to come out as gay and then have brands such as Nike, Gatorade, or Subway to cash in on using a gay athlete for their advantages. Shouldn’t the gay community find this idea fairly offensive?
    _________________________________
    I don’t buy into anything consenting adults agree to of their own free wills as any form of exploitation.The player would have to sign contracts with the companies. That’s not exploitation, that’s making money in return for the use of one’s image/story just like many other athletes and celebrities do all the time. The fact that it would be due to their sexual orientation is no different than any other quality that makes a company want someone to endorse their product.

    And if anyone of the same orientation would feel offended by that, they are hypocrites. One of the arguments in support of gay marriage/unions, etc is the rights of individuals to live as they choose. How could they then have a beef with one of their own choosing to make a profit? I would hope they wouldn’t.

  57. joetoronto says: Oct 25, 2012 5:13 AM

    He’s obviously calling out Erin, who refuses to come out.

  58. filipinoviking says: Oct 25, 2012 6:48 AM

    Chris Kluwe has become a cancer. He has gone from outspoken nerd who was humorous to bitter limousine liberal who knows what’s best for everybody and everything. I lost any respect for him after he repeatedly implored twitter followers to read/agree with “anonymous” an anarchist collection of deadbeat hackers (see: those who’ve been caught if you don’t believe me) and voicing his support of the Anti-American, anti-capitalist (the irony) anti-semetic hodgepodge of losers calling themselves the “occupy” movement…a movement which is now…gone. We’re still Xbox Live “friends” which means…nothing. He punts for my favorite NFL team which is awesome…but shut up “hollywood.” And by the way….a guy who at every opportunity goes back to California (his home) meddling in Minnesota politics…opportunistic carpet-bagger.

  59. stellarperformance says: Oct 25, 2012 3:37 PM

    joetoronto says:
    Oct 25, 2012 5:13 AM
    He’s obviously calling out Erin, who refuses to come out.
    ===============================

    Erin Henderson? Really?

  60. tokyomanblastersmom says: Oct 25, 2012 5:52 PM

    brewdogg says:

    “When will it be acceptable in this “land of the free” for all people to receive all rights equally, regardless of the differences they hold from the socially acceptable mainstream. When will it be acceptable in this “home of the brave” for people to stand up and speak when they believe that an injustice exists without being ridiculed publicly?

    It is not intolerant if a person refuses to tolerate intolerance.”

    _________________________________

    That’s all well and good, equal rights definitely ARE something we should strive for and cherish.

    But when does that pursuit of equality turn to a pursuit of power, privilege, and special interest?

    How do we draw the line?

    The answer is, when we move from striving towards indivudal, human rights, and start thinking in terms of “group rights”.

    Affirmative action, reparations, special class (“protected”) citizen classes, “hate crimes”, and so forth all fall under that category, and cross that line, if you ask me.

    The smallest minority on earth is the individual, and in America, only individuals have rights – a group does not (because once they do, we call that “special interest” or “privilege” or “discrimination”).

    In short, we’re Americans, with basic (some would say God-given) rights. The minute we start hyphenating ourselves and saying we’re one-legged gyspy dwarf albino tollbooth worker-Americans, or whatever – we’ve missed the point, and are doing more harm than good for the cause of equal rights.

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