Free Sport

Meet Chris Kluwe: NFL Punter, Gay Rights Advocate, and Out Magazine Coverboy

The current cover of Out magazine features a photo of outspoken Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe, along with the headline, "Chris Kluwe & The Art Of War: The NFL punter on gay marriage, demolishing stereotypes, and crafting the perfect insult."

Kluwe made headlines last month by writing an open letter advocating for the free speech rights of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendan Ayanbadejo, whose public support of marriage equality was challenged by Maryland State Senator Emmett C. Burns Jr. (see "Minnesota Vikings Punter Drop-Kicks Maryland State Senator Over Marriage Equality, Free Sport, 9/08/12). The letter, which included some very colorful phrasing (hence "crafting the perfect insult"), went viral. And Kluwe quickly became known as much for his actions off the field, as he is for his play on the gridiron. (Granted, there's not much fame in being a punter.)

In the Out cover story, "Chris Kluwe: Kick Ass," longtime Celtics fan and Outsports columnist Cyd Zeigler Jr. talks with Kluwe about his life as a "tireless "World of Warcraft" troll, obsessive sci-fi fanboy, and professional NFL punter."

Demolishing the sterotype of the boring jock indeed. Kluwe, in addition to being admirable for his gay rigths advocacy, is a true Renaissance athlete, in the manner of Red Sox legend Bill "The Spaceman" Lee, and others. He also blogs at Out of Bounds for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, appears weekly on Minnesota radio's "Half-Assed Morning Show," and plays bass for the rock band Tripping Icarus. (He's also a family man, married, with two children.)

Shortly after he wrote the letter to Burns, Kluwe appeared did an interview on Minnesota's KARE 11 news station (see below).

Heading into NFL Week #5, the Viking are tied with the Chicago Bears atop the NFC North at 3-1, one game ahead of the Green Bay Packers (whose controversial loss to the Seattle Seahawks effectively ended the lockout of the NFL referees). Looks like I'll be rooting for the Vikings for a bit ...

© 2014 The Valley Advocate