Chris Kluwe continues to speak out about his perceived release from the Minnesota Vikings due to his political beliefs. Speaking with Keith Olbermann on Olbermann on Thursday night, Kluwe said that he isn't the only player being kept off the field because of his opinions. According to Kluwe, Tim Tebow is also being unfairly condemned.
Via Pro Football Talk:
"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.'"
Earlier this month, Kluwe released a lengthy account through Deadspin of his interactions with special teams coach Mike Priefer, head coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman that suggests that Kluwe was cut due to his outspoken stance in support of LGBT rights, and not due to any negligible on-field performance issues. Kluwe has rarely shied from making his opinions known through interviews and social media.
In Sept., 2012, Kluwe published a letter he wrote to Maryland delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr., that criticized Burns for speaking out against Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, who has also publicly advocated for gay rights. Per Kluwe's Deadspin piece, the letter apparently did not sit well with Priefer, Kluwe's position coach:
He would ask me if I had written any letters defending "the gays" recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance. I tried to laugh these off while also responding with the notion that perhaps they were human beings who deserved to be treated as human beings. Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible.
Tebow has also seemed to draw media attention wherever he goes, in part because of his open faith in Christianity. Whether Kluwe and Tebow were released solely due their beliefs may be up for some debate, however.
After being released by the Vikings, Kluwe was signed by the Oakland Raiders in May, 2013, and stuck with the team until September when he was released. Tebow joined the New England Patriots after his release from the New York Jets, but he too was let go just before the start of the regular season. Neither player has yet to appear with another team.