Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is continuing his campaign against the NFL for what he says is an attitude of intolerance both toward gays and to people like Kluwe who have advocated for gay rights.
In his latest comments, Kluwe told FOX Twin Cities that Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer should have been suspended for more than three games for making anti-gay remarks after Kluwe began speaking out for gay marriage. Kluwe contrasted Priefer’s suspension with the suspensions for other violations of league rules.
“Players who get caught smoking weed or DUI get four games, and you’re telling me the guy who made a comment like ‘let’s round up all the gays put them on an island nuke it till it glows’ — he’s only going to get a slap on the wrist?” Kluwe said.
Kluwe is a bit off on the suspensions that players get, as players who get DUIs usually aren’t suspended at all unless someone is injured or killed or it’s a repeat offense. Regardless, Kluwe thinks the NFL has misplaced priorities.
“The NFL is a league where you can get redemption for killing someone, for beating your wife in an elevator, for driving drunk, for a whole variety of things but when you speak out for civil rights, that’s the one thing you cannot get redeemed for,” Kluwe added.
When he mentions “beating your wife in an elevator,” Kluwe is clearly referring to Ravens running back Ray Rice, who assaulted his now-wife in an incident early this offseason. Kluwe seems to think the fact that Rice is still with the Ravens, while Kluwe was cut by the Vikings and then cut by the Raiders and is now out of the league, is evidence that the NFL is more forgiving of wife beaters than gay rights supporters.
The reality, however, is that Rice remaining in the NFL while Kluwe is out is not proof that the NFL thinks a player beating his wife is better than a player speaking out for gay rights. It’s proof that Rice is a better player than Kluwe. NFL teams will tolerate almost anything from a player who can help them win. That’s what the NFL really values.