As Chris Kluwe forecast after they drafted UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round last week, the Minnesota Vikings have released him.
From the Star Tribune:
The 31-year-old was given the news Monday morning at Winter Park during a meeting with General Manager Rick Spielman. Kluwe had been anticipating the move, one that became transparent April 27 when the team used a fifth-round draft pick on UCLA punter Jeff Locke.
Locke participated in the team’s three-day rookie mini-camp over the weekend and fared well enough for the Vikings to feel totally secure in selecting him. And that meant kicking the door open and sending Kluwe on his way.
While the Vikings won’t admit it, it’s clear Kluwe’s public support for equality became a headache for the team. Punters in the NFL rarely have the kind of high profile, political voice Kluwe has demonstrated. I imagine the Vikings would very much like to have a punter in the more “anonymous” vein.
I do love this quote from Chip Scoggins – pretty much sums it up:
Kluwe’s departure will make the Vikings locker room a lot more dull because he is incredibly intelligent, articulate and passionate about societal issues. He’s a fascinating individual in a sport that breeds conformity. The NFL has become so big and so powerful that players often cling to political correctness for fear that a ripple might swell into a tidal wave. Kluwe is that surfer dude on top of the wave, hanging 10 on any issue that stirs his emotion.
Kluwe, always a class act, wrote this on Twitter as the news broke: