Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe finds himself without a job – but not without a purpose.
After eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Kluwe was dropped by the team this week. He says he does not know if the decision had to do with his growing prominence as an LGBT activist.
Kluwe, who is straight, hopes to land with another team but he has no regrets about speaking out on various LGBT issues.
‘To me, there are very important issues in our society that we do need to address as a society,’ he tells HuffPost Live. ‘I love football, I love playing football but at the end of the day, it is a children’s game that grown men play.’
He adds: ‘If I can speak out on something, especially something that affects millions of lives and causes young kids to kill themselves – if I can speak out on that and help one of those young kids realize that you don’t have to take that step, to me that’s worth far more than anything that I could gain from football.’
Another prominent NFL activist, Brendon Ayanbadejo, has been just as vocal as Kluwe is his support of marriage equality and other LGBT issues. He also was cut from his NFL team, the Baltimore Ravens, after the team won this year’s Super Bowl.
‘Do I have a chance to get as job? Does Brendan have a chance t get a job?’ Kluwe wonders. ‘I think all that we’re asking and all that any athlete is asking, straight or gay, is judge that person by what they can do on the field. Not by who they are, not by what their beliefs are or the color of their skin. Judge them by their playing abilities.’
‘All I know is I can go out and punt to the best of my ability and I just have to rely on the body of work that I’ve put together,’ he adds. ‘Hopefully I’ll get a chance to go somewhere else and prove that I can still punt on the NFL level.’