Chris Kluwe, who says he was cut by the Vikings because he spoke out in support of gay rights, believes another player is being similarly kept out of the NFL for expressing his views: Tim Tebow.
Kluwe said on Olbermann that although he and Tebow have very different beliefs, they have both been kept out of the NFL because NFL coaches and general managers don’t want to deal with players who care about the world around them, and not just football.
“As much as we are polar opposites on the things we stand for, Tebow is the exact same way,” Kluwe said. “There are backup quarterbacks in the NFL right now that Tebow is certainly better than — he could fill a role with a team. But because he brings this other stuff with him, just like I bring my other stuff with me, teams look at it like, ‘We don’t want it. We don’t want players speaking out. We don’t want players doing anything other than football.'”
Kluwe reiterated that he thinks he was cut because he spoke out on civil rights, but he also believes that NFL coaches and general managers are uncomfortable with players expressing opinions on any issue.
“I think anyone speaking up about anything, the NFL is kind of like, ‘You might alienate a portion of our market, so don’t do that. Just be football. Just be football,'” Kluwe said.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that both Kluwe and Tebow were given opportunities in NFL training camps in 2013. And from all indications, the Raiders cut Kluwe and the Patriots cut Tebow for football reasons.
Still, there’s probably some truth to what Kluwe is saying. If you’re an NFL player, your coach wants you to put all your focus on the field. And if your focus is elsewhere, there’s a good chance that you won’t be on the field.