WEEI>On Demand>>Chris Kluwe vs the Minnesota Vikings... do politics come in to play in his release from the team?

Chris Kluwe vs the Minnesota Vikings... do politics come in to play in his release from the team?

Jan 3, 2014|

Chris Kluwe is an outspoken advocate of Gay Marriage and is claiming that stance is why the Vikings recently cut him... we discuss whether there is truth to it....

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

If you ever read this story in dad's been certainly the headline. Is enticing. Headline I was an NFL player and tell I was fired by two -- -- and a big. I was NFL player until I was fired by two cowards and a bigot. As soon as I saw the headline I thought on Twitter or knew this was gonna be Chris Kluwe. Hot today there is either going to be him or Brendon Ayanbadejo that the right two guys who who have been linked because of their outspoken this. On the gay marriage issue. And Ayanbadejo doesn't seem to he -- seemed to have traveled in this direction the way equally as. I was pretty angry certainly -- and his job in Minnesota. And if you haven't read this he goes all the way through how his special teams coach Mike the price for pre -- for Mike -- It's -- relief really horrible things to him. Mostly about gay people the -- the other two cowards were head coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick steelman. Who he says were unwilling to be -- And and essentially just weren't up for. Dealing with -- him and so they they were power even though they didn't mind what he was doing even though they didn't have a problem with is with his politics. They just. Were up for standing up. For for what he terms equality. I think they were. And indeed this. This story brings out a lot of things about the NFL. We'll always say how it's like a violent game and it's an unforgiving game and we're usually talking about concussions were talking about the car crashes that are. -- that occur on the field how your body you play on a Sunday in your body doesn't start to recover until. Win today and the older you are some time does not until Thursday. But it's also. A nasty game when it comes to. Hierarchy. When it comes to individual rights. I would when it comes to human resources in eight in your job -- many of you have jobs where. Somebody says something to you go to the human resources department they've got to back. You have a talk about it. There are seminars. NFL's not like there. And if Adrian Peterson. Had said the same things that Chris Kluwe we did at the vikings would have been fine. Is Adrian Peterson's star and he's a running back and he's got value to the vikings he's a partner -- and -- Who speak out Connors who were seen as distractions in the NFL are very dispensable and they don't last very long. That's the thing that's that's what happened with -- now. Do do I know. I can't really pick aside and just looking at it from looking at the big picture well I can't pick a -- got forty. Well according to pick silently asking this question do you believe them. You haven't hit I don't know -- his tail I don't know not his opinions do you believe that is that is special teams coach said the thing that the things he claims he says. He accuses him of saying we should round up all the gays send them to an island and then -- it until the -- to our door you Levys are believed that was said. Sure in the and it. NFL locker room coach player yet I believe that was said but I believe it was said that context I don't know. There's there are lots of crazy this is just goes back to the Richie and cut -- situation to. Where apparently that the voice on gonna kill your entire family room and make you do this -- make you do that. Guys. Guys have me. Create a lot of lot of them a lot of professional athlete very six sensitive -- -- that the three people around. A lot warn that when you include the coaches and personnel step. -- -- -- What was what was said joking manner what was said and a serious way. Cool always interpretation of it is as one way in hell my -- for came out that I'm not a big ask -- this. -- -- -- -- Archer already the majority a majority lost. By what's what's a good comeback. So I says -- -- your biggest. -- stop beating your kid what what's her comeback is really your -- -- retreating already there's no defense so he called. What coach a bigot he called Leslie Frazier -- What's the response with Michael took our. -- so he's he's already got the lead article and at them into a corner. What was your motivation. For it was their motivation. Leslie Frazier beat tell him to shut up because he doesn't believe in quality. Grade they -- on the shut up because. He's a potter. And you make it too much noise were damp potter. -- something it's hard for me to. I can't try to pick a side about a no question -- because because my here here's my general. The way I lean on this is I personally don't mind Chris Kluwe we was doing in terms of being a person and supporting something that he thinks is about equality and I know people have different opinions on that but in his view it's about equality and and certainly and he wants to tennis speak out on that in and in the normal profession. That's what people do OK fine he thinks he's being brave. Then in second question becomes is it relevant to do that when you're an NFL player personally. I think I have no problems when I don't mind an NFL player standing up for what he believes in but. I do understand if the coach is gonna look at it saying sorry not my time I'm not paying you for that I'm not interested in that my entire job. My entire goal is one thing. And that's to win a championship I don't really care whether or not your role model I don't really care whether or not your fighting for what you think is equality. I don't really care about any of that stuff I'm not here because he's so I'm really asked them to. Make sure all of the media requests had agreed to regularly don't shut up. I'm not here to facilitate your media campaign that I'm here to win a Super Bowl. Any of your media campaign that. Is is able to exist inside the definition of what helps me when a Super Bowl by all means I'm happy to accommodate UN and maybe we can both get something out of it. But I think even for second. They -- is going anywhere other than making this a better football team why in God's name to why need to help you achieve your goal of equality of up to one side of the flip side says. That there have been plenty of outspoken. Leaders in sports which is which has always had the the capability of reaching huge masses of people. Think about football although not the cycles where Cisco it is harder of -- think about the NFL it's harder to find those the outspoken guys in the NFL -- not the best players and -- right now. What sorts Peyton Manning outspoken about nothing. -- -- -- Commercials right okay commercial thing you know but my Papa Papa John's. About Tom Brady eggs all the other you know commercial personal things Drew Brees. They that -- -- Our pick up a top players in the league. Cam Newton. Young stars RG three subway. I. If it's hard to find who is The Who is the modern day the Ali. For NFL players as the modern day Bill -- old Jim Brown. In the NFL it's hard finals is hard to find. The question becomes is that because. In April players just aren't interstate and the thing -- betcha it's not easy because NFL teams say I don't want any part of that or is because NFL players think this doesn't belong -- doesn't help my team win. And and maybe it's the third maybe that's the most likely answer to that question. I don't know Chris Kluwe we obviously believe the Brendon Ayanbadejo was well that they were in a position where they could reach a huge number of people for something that they thought. Was the great for the greater good of society. Look if you're either Britain and talk with two special team primarily. I'm the date -- the better player it will be linebacker find out what to primarily special teams above them. I'm saying -- I've got this platform it's probably not gonna last that much longer there's not that much more money for me to be made here why wouldn't I try to use this for something I never get to work again so -- it all turned this into another career or become -- -- to become an activist. I'm I'm I'm interest that clearly Chris Kluwe Lee is well spoken he talked to him before he writes very well it does mean that it has a lot to like about Chris Kluwe we as as a speaker if you're if you -- the same -- Maybe he turned himself into an activist in the second career form. But I can't help shape the fact I've talked to a few times I've interviewed them. And the and the sense I always come away with -- even though. I think he writes interesting things is this -- just trying to get his name out there right he reminds me of what's the guy's name the Aaron Hernandez. Share what's guy's name. And you you you always knows. The guy down in the senate and in that went on where's that. This year whose owners have your -- -- -- -- on a share for those campaigning for everything it's like yeah I I actually yeah. I get that you're talking about how tough you are walking -- Aaron Hernandez here try to be very gracious with the media interviews but you're running for something and I appreciate that. I've always gotten the sense that's -- Chris Kluwe -- Yeah and -- with Chris Cooley is hard to he has put himself in a position where it's hard to be against him. Because. If you're against him this the way he has positioned it. And he's got a good job of positioning it this way and who knows if it's true or not that we don't don't you just have to look at all the information. And just come to a come to a conclusion based on circumstantial evidence because you you don't know what his agenda is and you don't know what the agenda is of of the coaches. And of the general manager but he has position at that position that this way. If you're against me. You're against human rights. If you're against me you're against same sex marriage there against me. Your biggest. Where your power. And she's. Apparently that's what he's saying show -- he had now that they are -- -- like what you up and under -- you have to group is what he has done. It's jumped into the heads of Rick spiel monopoly for the difference threatened to do him a -- I thought about -- -- -- a -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And big it's big it's different criminal Conan tickets okay he called them cowards right. So he jumped into their head here jump to the head of the head coach. Former head coach now. And the only reason Leslie Frazier wants me to shut up it's because. He doesn't believe in equality. We want you to shop got -- head coach and any head coach anyone. 530 things. On their desk at any time. And they don't wanna be thinking about the -- you've got to understand what this position means an NFL. The -- dark guy on the team for most of -- separate Bill Belichick who a special team. But for most coaches. You're like a little of this mission to Europe the last guy on the roster you have got to -- that's what so. Head coach may want you to should've been maybe -- the quality or he may just be against people who didn't have a Arnott how would you say he's not saying it again and -- But he's using high definition of why he's not saying -- coach doesn't like equality what he or head coach is a one of the stories that are the stories are staying here or does he say in the head coach. Has have an opportunity to be brave and he would -- that's a -- The head coach an opportunity to support me and he didn't he had an opportunity to be Brady in an opportunity to do something and he chose instead to do something else clearly also understands. What's happening he writes however it's clear to me that no matter how much -- wanna prove my complaint on the longer on the NFL's specially now that I've written account whether it's my age might need among veterans now in my app speaking my mind or most likely a combination of all -- my -- a football player is gone. Understand some of the other reasons why he's not get shot while he was eventually cut in Minnesota. What he's saying is if somebody wanted to be brave they could've kept me around them and something positive. -- -- What is our coach Frazier immediately told me that I needed to be quiet Scott speaking out on the stuff firmament -- percent six Margaret told coach -- that felt it was the right thing to do. What was supporting equality in all. And also told that one of his main coaching points to us was to be good men and do the right thing. He reiterated his -- and fervent desire for me to see speaking on the subject stating that quote a wise -- -- once told me. There are two things you don't talk about the NFL politics or religion. This this doesn't seem. Really out of character for your average NFL coach that affect a number Peter King writing. A couple of years ago. About eighteen meaning that Paul Brown had. Now miles people rave about Paul brown and how all the modern NFL today the classroom structure of the NFL. Is all the result of Paul Brown's foresight Paul Brown. Said in a team and a lot of coaches that said the team meeting. We're not gonna talk about religion. We're not gonna talk about politics I don't care of your teammate as a Republican or Democrat or independent -- care. If he's Muslim or Jewish or Christian we're not gonna bring that into -- -- into this locker room because it's a divisive issue we gonna focus on football it could be. It could be that Leslie Frazier. Is a coward work it doesn't want bad. On -- team. I think it's it's unfair of Chris Kluwe we called people bigots and coward you'd better be able to to back it up and you better have. I really well thought out logic with this and I'm not sure I'm not sure does. I think that the difference here because I agree with everything you just said and and I am I I don't I don't necessarily think Leslie Frazier is a coward I think he's somebody's -- win football games trying to do his job in the NFL and doesn't want any distraction -- all the things that did that you just described to brown. Absolutely fine. But the difference at the difference here is that the two of them are defining him in different ways. Where is Leslie Frazier Paul Brown might look at it and say this is about religion or politics. I honestly believe Chris Kluwe he doesn't think this is about either of those. -- this is not about politics this is not about liberal -- or or conservative Democrat or Republican to him it's about equality. To him it it this is not a matter of how do you feel about the debt ceiling how do you feel about. Taxation. To him this is equality -- a lack of equality now I know a lot of people disagree with that and that's why it turns into politics and that's why for Leslie Frazier or Paul Brown or plenty of other people out there he is doing something it's a known only NFL locker room creating a distraction. By talking about a polarizing political issue. But in his mind it's not it may be polarizing but not political -- not equal -- let's get to the the the guy called a big. Might prefer. Chris Cooley writes if there's one thing I hope to achieve from sharing the story. Is to make sure that might prefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL. And ideally never coaches and in the left now. Once again it could be. If -- prefer is a bigot. You could be on Chris you -- -- Chris Kluwe -- He's not. What a -- just eighty. A guy who was replaced. On the job that he wanted to have. And once the blame somebody wants to attack somebody. And has chosen might prefer I don't I think there's there's a lot more to the story -- what what happens now. -- with Twitter and everything else you were forced to state your case immediately. And you gonna arrive with -- No matter what new information trickles out as a maverick when new information trickles out you moved on to something else you've already stated your position on. On my pre for Chris -- -- -- Leslie Frazier. And by the time somebody comes up with a story two weeks from now through weeks and three weeks from now that provide more context and clarity to this. What you don't care anymore so. I am not. Jumping in on this side of pretty -- not jumping in on the side of Chloe. I just won a look at it and do I think that disgruntled employees say things that aren't true yes. Or former employees blatantly make up stories. They have axes to grind -- -- Is that the case for gluing it could be. I don't I really don't know but I hear a lot of people. Just assuming that Chris Cooley is telling the truth because they. I think it dangerous to say yes I am I'm I'm I'm with him he's right. It seems like -- all I'll say this it's refreshing. What his. His standing up for for something that he believes in his refreshing in -- very corporate very scrubbed. Scrub down world of professional sports refreshing that he has he has stood up then and stated his opinion but. This is cause. This is cause they need. It if it bit them did it mean because he's on -- the right side -- man. Does that mean that everything else he's saying is beyond reproach or or is unassailable now. Is there room in the NFL to stand up for what you believe. Yes. Depends WR is there Rubin and -- -- and outspoken about a polarizing issue of Margaret York. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- I can think of three players and three players only -- maybe come up with some others that I am -- a but off the top of my dad I can only think of three players that were really outspoken. About issues that were bigger than the game the only three players likened it comes -- my mind. Our Brendon Ayanbadejo critically and T and -- And maybe you can think of others but those are the only three I identify. -- -- cause Horry said of beliefs that goes beyond just playing football on the and a -- others that you can think of -- not popular well you know what what -- -- -- what the cause of the I don't think it's polarized. A polarizing issue. I'm about to -- It is I just profanity has devoted to selling that's open if you wanna prohibitive he's the next when you wanna throw in -- put put in Chad Ochocinco just for the sake of Arctic doesn't in anyway her on the sale for the Scots currently. All four of those guys are -- And within a couple years now there's -- various other factors Chris -- we had some up and down years Brendon Ayanbadejo special teamwork who got up there in age and wasn't able to contribute that much defensively anymore. I'm Tim Tebow -- -- certainly helped take him out of league Chad Ochocinco lost a lot of effectiveness so you can look at this from both sides and I understand. But three or four guys do you look at account that I was somewhat polarizing. Even products -- Those other three guys were were talking about polarizing issues. The rapidly. -- after do you think do you think every team in the league news. Against human rights no but I don't think they care well the wanna talk about it well I think they are against -- polarizing British Khloe thinks his career is over. Because he is a spokesman for human rights. Regular career ended with the Minnesota Vikings -- upon -- and a fifth round. What you're saying school. -- -- -- you steal yes so. They drafted a pattern of that round. So does that mean that. There are out there are lots of other teams. -- use they've middle of the pack potter which is what he was. And what the news. Have all of those teams decided to it seems to me saying that all these teams have decided to pass on Cooley. Because of his statements because of its history. That's a pretty big statement the bank but he's -- he he has he has individualized. His his. His anger with him that I don't -- out that way but what. I think I read it that way about the about it reader how -- about the rest of them. Are so why has any idea what he said I happen is that right this is my reading of what he's writing is. Not that they all hate human rights not that they they just don't don't wanna deal with none of them are. In his -- strong strong enough to wanna stand out that it's not a big enough issue for any of them to say hey. I'm willing to take a chance I'm willing to have some polarization are willing to bring -- a guy that's outspoken and might have nothing to do football because I believe in the greater good for society. There's a difference between not a not approving of something being against it and just not wanting to deal with it. And I think his opinion is they're cowards because they don't want to deal with it up because they are against -- Does that make sense you know it it makes sense idle rhetoric splitting heroin does not I think got you -- absolutely and I think when. You know Chris -- from with Chris Cooley and some insight from his perspective on what happened in Minnesota. And some of the stories that are coming out of Miami. Or that did come out of Miami with the -- can't -- a situation you can see. In the NFL it's just not like any workplace that you've been an analyst you've been an NFL player is it. There is no. And in a lot of ways there's no fairness. They don't want to say they don't wanna deal. With some of the stuff they don't have a most of time they don't have to there -- Anyway the other thing that it -- challenge facing the challenge the whole culture of the NFL crew and you can challenge the I'm looking at the fact he went to challenge culture can go it. He probably needed a sponsor it to roll with him that -- gone to Adrian Peterson. It's an -- those gonna work I did you I need you to be on my side here I need you your -- running back. Let me agent currently due to beat -- by pulling guard for this. In you need to be the face of this story not me. Maybe it works but they look at a Connor. Who is who was never made the pro ball. In the got a potter who. Wore a patch homemade patch on his Jersey paper ray guy in the hall of fame in and called. Hall of fame voters idiots who a potter who was writing letters to. Congressman from Maryland. A partner who's got his own band and -- who's got his home media and he's turned a cottage industry -- -- hit his whole thing his whole media things like. He wanted to do that on the side. It isn't that back and does any of that hurt the Minnesota might that's a question of they don't want to answer this any of them actually are I know they don't want it. And I understand why they don't want to do that any of it actually hurt them. Does it hurt them to win a championship does that prevent them in some way from being better at their jobs does it hurt them selling sponsorships. Doesn't any way hurt the vikings answer that question as to jump into 617779793. Sevenths alcoholic WB.

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