Target: Minnesota Vikings Chairman, President and General Manager
Goal: Make National Football League coaches uphold players’ rights to support gay marriage
Punter Chris Kluwe was released from the Minnesota Vikings after speaking up for gay rights and abused children, though he performed as well on field as he had for the previous seven years. Kluwe recently reported how much anti-gay hate speech he endured, while higher-ups ordered him to keep quiet. Kluwe kept speaking out, heroically showing coaches they can’t muzzle professional athletes like a pack of dogs.
Kluwe’s strong conscience has a stellar record. In 2012, Kluwe chastised a Maryland official who tried to silence another football player’s support for gay marriage. Kluwe’s searing rebuke of the politician’s hatred, bigotry and hypocrisy quickly went viral.
Here’s Kluwe’s account of what ensued. Head Coach Leslie Frazier told him to shut up. A public relations staffer tried to hush him. Multiple media requests were kept from him, until he ferreted them out. Special Teams Coach Mike Priefer belittled the idea of tolerance. He declared gays would burn in hell. His torrid hatred erupted when he seethed, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”
Thanks to Kluwe’s courageous report, Priefer’s conduct is being investigated. Kluwe dared to come forth, as he says players who rat out coaches get blacklisted. Now Kluwe’s teammates face this same dilemma when testifying. Whatever the investigation concludes, Kluwe has put the National Football League on notice. Anti-gay hate speech will not be publicly tolerated.
While Kluwe sacrificed his career for the mistreated, Priefer belittled his protests as “distractions” before the media. However, Priefer is distracted from the truth. Performing acts of love improves all-around performance, including in athletics. Professional athletes’ fundamental, American freedoms of expression should never be desecrated again.
Dear Vikings Chairman Zygi Wilf, President Mark Wilf, and General Manager Rick Spielman,
We’re aware of Chris Kluwe’s report of anti-gay hate speech in the workplace. Disrespect of sexual capacities causes physiological trauma that hampers performance in all areas. Moral values and sportsmanship should stand strong with athletic virtue. Younger generations should be able to look up to sports heroes as true champions in all areas. Bigotry should never block their dreams from taking root in the field of the future.
Players shouldn’t feel they’ll get blacklisted for condemning hostile working conditions. Humans shouldn’t be treated like sacks of meat without free speech rights. Standing up for love coordinates biological activity, enabling exceptional athletic performance. Please ensure your staff never again belittles the free speech values at America’s heart as “distractions.” Psychological, verbal, sexual abuse by staff members should never be tolerated.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: football field by Daniel X. O’Neil via Flickr, with rainbow overlay added