In fall 2012, leading up to Minnesota's vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, I spent about a month tailing Chris Kluwe for a City Pages cover story
-- the Vikings punter who became an unlikely celebrity for the Vote No campaign. Over our many interviews, Kluwe spoke in depth about how the locker room culture toward LGBT people was rapidly changing across the major league sports gamut.
But evidence to the contrary was playing out in Kluwe's own locker room, according to a column the ex-punter published on Deadspin Thursday.
In the article, provocatively titled, "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards and a Bigot," Kluwe says he's "pretty confident" the Vikings let him go as punishment for his off-the-field activism. Among the evidence Kluwe offers are alleged utterances from special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer (the "bigot"), who has been rumored as a potential candidate for the team's head coaching position. According to the post, Priefer regularly made homophobic comments after Kluwe came out in favor of gay marriage, saying in one meeting, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."
The Internet just about blew up, as it does, and there's already a viral campaign to prevent Priefer from getting another NFL coaching gig. Priefer issued a denial, and the Vikings say they will review Kluwe's claims, noting his dismissal was "strictly based on his football performance."
We caught up with Kluwe Thursday afternoon to talk about his post, the response, and what happens next.
Chris Kluwe pries open the last closet in America: major league sports [Cover Story]