Kluwe on criticism: “We all get cut eventually”

AP

Chris Kluwe has become a household name (at least in households where punters are discussed), in part because he’s a football player, but mostly because he’s a football player with opinions.

And while one of his coaches said he’s getting tired of Kluwe’s busy extra-curricular activity schedule, Kluwe has kept his status as a human being in front of his position on a 53-man roster.

Asked about special teams coach Mike Priefer saying “those distractions are getting old for me,” Kluwe defended his professionalism, and understands the reality of the business.

“All I can do is go out and punt to the best of my ability each game, and that’s how I’ve always approached things,” Kluwe wrote in an email to the Associated Press. “If the team ever wants to replace me, they will; I’m under no delusions as to how this business operates. We all get cut eventually.”

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he’s talked to his punter about staying focused on his day job the next three weeks.

“We’ve had some conversations, Chris and I,” Frazier said. “Right now he knows the focus has to be on the St. Louis Rams. He’s assured me that’s where his focus is and we just have to keep moving forward.”

As an organization, the NFL doesn’t handle outliers terribly well. There’s a “nail that sticks out gets hammered down,” mentality with many teams, and it seems there are some in Minnesota who would prefer Kluwe just punted.

33 responses to “Kluwe on criticism: “We all get cut eventually”

  1. Let him talk, its not like the Vikings are going to the playoffs or anything. Its a mild distraction on what is otherwise an ordinary year. Ordinary in the sense that the Vikings will not win a Superbowl, again. Just like the other 50 or so years in the history of their franchise.

  2. If MN is stupid enough to let him go just because he isn’t willing to stifle his refreshing candor, I’d love to see him on the Bears.

  3. No, he’s a person with opinions, who happens to be a punter. Does your job dictate your personal activities and interests? If the Vikings cut him for his extracurricular activities, while players who drink and drive and kill people continue to get NFL jobs, that’s pathetic.

  4. Kluwe’s head has become bigger than his body. He needs to realize that everyone has opinions, and his opinions are not more worthy of consideration just because he’s an NFL punter.

    Kluwe has been a solid punter since his rookie year in 2005. This is the first year he’s really shown any inconsistency, and with all his efforts to get noticed for his opinions one can’t help but conclude that these efforts have effected his job performance. Kluwe needs a good strong dose of humility, and his coach is right; he needs to stay focused on his job.

  5. Kluwe seems to be a wonderful human who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. I see no reason there should be an issue with his extra-curricular activities–providing they’re hurting no one!!

  6. Yeah, sorry Kluwe… for a while you were a great punter. Now you are an average punter who let’s his off-field opinions impact his on-field performance. Good riddance! The Vikings can find another punter that does an average job…

  7. Most of the time you guys say “he’s a punter who cares, they’re not important to the team anyway”. But now you seem to be upset…so he likes the spotlight and to talk, now I gotta say, who cares…

  8. Unlike players who are out partying every other night, getting busted for DWI, or getting fined for taking cheap shots at opponents, the only thing Kluwe is in trouble for is speaking his mind on personal and social issues. He’s not out there being a diva like Ochstinko was, trying to be a reality TV host. He doesn’t act up during games for no reason other then draw attention to himself. He just has strong personal opinions about social issues and he isn’t afraid to speak his mind about it. If he doesn’t speak up, who will?

    I don’t see how that compromises your focus on the game. The team and the league should be happy they have strong willed leaders on their team who won’t buckle and cave to pressure. He’s his own person, and thinks for himself. And he’s entitled to his own opinions.

    Of all the things a player can be in trouble for, this is pretty stupid. I like how he challenges conventional wisdom on things and instead of going along with how things “have always been”, he’s not afraid to challenge old assumptions.

  9. Kluwe is awesome. I don’t even agree with him 100% of the time, but I love the way he rejects all the macho nonsense in the league and just says what he thinks.

    And he completely exposes the hypocrisy of the NFL. Coaches love to act like they are some sort of super authority that hold the careers of players in the palms of their hands. The truth is, if you can play, you will get a job and will pretty much be able to do what you want as long as you keep performing. People want to act like TO and Ocho etc. aren’t getting jobs because people are tired of their acts when the truth is that they had no trouble finding jobs until they couldn’t play anymore.

    Seriously, when has a nail that sticks out ever been hammered down when it was still productive?

    Kluwe knows he can say and do what he wants as long as he can punt. If the Vikings cut him, he’ll be signed by someone instantly, or certainly by training camp.

    And he knows that once he can’t punt anymore, it won’t matter if he never says another word, he’ll be unemployed.

    And something tells me that when that happens, Kluwe won’t be one of those players who can’t adjust to life without football.

  10. While I commend Kluwe for his activism, I feel he tends to bring a hammer when a screwdriver would be more appropriate. Instead of giving the league $5250 for his Ray Guy campaign, he could have spent that on making a highlight tape of all of Ray Guy’s greatest punts, etc and sent that to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 46-person Selection Committee. Being brash and abrasive, isn’t always the solution, when being more diplomatic would go a lot further. My 2cents, but why dump your hard earn money into the NFL fine system, instead of you cause?

  11. doorharp11 says:
    Dec 14, 2012 8:57 AM
    He had one bad game kluwe is the best punter in the nfl period. Keep doing what you are doing because it is working!

    __________________

    Check the stats buddy… Kluwe is ranked 18th in net yards, 26th in avagerage yards

    Thats FAR from the best punter in the NFL period…

  12. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    its not like hes throwing love boat parties or running over cops give the man a break

  13. i didn’t know ray guy wasn’t in the hof, and he should be. players have interests outside of football that their coaches condone, and kluwe’s smarter than most, so if they don’t agree, too bad. i’m glad kluwe did it, it’s his money

  14. Vikings should punt this guy. Doesn’t sound like he’s focused on football all that much, or that he cares either.

  15. He also isn’t the best punter in the NFL this season….Ray Guy was never the best punter in the NFL. Check the stats!

  16. ray guy was a football player. after he would punt, he would run down the field looking to make a play on the ball. now coaches probably tell punters to just stay uninjured. i don’t care what stats say, ray guy was the best. if you didn’t watch him play, you don’t know what you’re talking about, so shut up

  17. If the extracurricular activities detract from his performance on the field, the Vikings will cut him. If not, they’ll keep him. He’s probably having his worst season this year and it coincides with him being a lot more public about his outside concerns. He’d better just make sure he’s taking care of business.

  18. I could understand Priefer’s irritation if he had to contribute to Kluwe’s fine; he didn’t. Kluwe is a smart, articulate, opinionated guy who is well aware that as an NFL player he has a bully pulpit. The media covers what he says, and he uses that not to call former coaches “idiots,” or to say that the opposition is better without their star player, but to advocate for what he sees as right in topics of interest to him.

    As for the whole “nail that sticks out” bit, wasn’t it Max McGee who said, “When it’s third and ten, you can take the milk drinkers and I’ll take the whiskey drinkers”? Sometimes you need a few nails, whether or not they stick out.

  19. Kluwe wrote an article and others have put him on a pedastal – not him. His stats are down because the Vikes punt coverage has been horrendous this year.
    Where was all the outrage at Birk for his opinions? Hypocrites…

  20. And I suppose if a player spent more time than usual supporting a charity they believe in, that would be a problem too?

    When you have the medias attention and can make a difference in something you believe in, you do it…

    Jared Allen could hold a rally every day and night for his wounded Warriors charity and I would support him all the way.

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