Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe quickly became an Internet hero after writing an open letter defending Brendon Ayanbadejo a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens who was chastised for defending gay rights. Kluwe later became an outspoken advocate for equality and Twitter sensation before suddenly finding himself cut from the Vikings. While the team denied this had anything to do with his activism, he voiced his responses to that question diplomatically. Until today. In an epic column on Deadspin, Chris Kluwe lays out why he was almost definitely fired because of special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer who’s now up for the position of head coach and apparently a colossal dickbag bigot:
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. He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed. I felt uncomfortable each time Mike Priefer said these things. After all, he was directly responsible for reviewing my job performance, but I hoped that after the vote concluded in Minnesota his behavior would taper off and eventually stop.
Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”
The important thing is now everyone knows that Chris Kluwe was fired for speaking his beliefs, so surely the freedom of speech lovers who supported Phil Robertson will now rise up and defend the Constitution because it should be illegal to fire someone for just saying words, remember? Remember you said that? So let’s take arms, patriots! HYEAH… and none of you are moving. Goddammit.