Chris Kluwe, the internet's favorite punter, has been released by the Minnesota Vikings, a move that became obvious when the team drafted Jeff Locke as the first punter taken in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Kluwe tweeted the news of his release Monday morning:
So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) May 6, 2013
Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn't have traded it for anything.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) May 6, 2013
Kluwe, who has been with the Vikings since the 2005 season, wasn't among the best punters in the league, but he certainly wasn't among the worst: His 45.0 yards per punt was 23rd in the NFL, although his 13 punts inside the 20-yard-line was the fewest amongst regular punters.. However, he felt the team was gearing up to cut him due to his public persona: Kluwe is a strong voice for social activism, notably very vocal on the issue of same-sex rights. (No, seriously, he's been very very vocal, and awesomely so, about it.) He also called players prominent in the continuation of the 2011 lockout "douchebags." His twitter, where he's funny and personable but sometimes provides social commentary, has over 160,000 followers, which has to be some kind of record for a punter.
It's tough to say whether Kluwe will get another job in the NFL - there's not a lot of turnover at the position - and even tougher to say whether his social stances will play any part in that.