Chris Kluwe To NFL Players Worried About A Gay Player: Grow The F*** Up
BY ON TOP MAGAZINE STAFF; PUBLISHED: APRIL 01, 2013
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe argued in an op-ed Sunday that a gay player in the NFL would not be a distraction.
Kluwe, who has argued in favor of gay marriage, said that professional athletes are hounded by officials to sacrifice personal goals for the team.
“The message is pushed on us so hard, in fact, that players run the very real risk of losing their jobs if the team deems them too much of a distraction, and unfortunately it seems gay players feel that being comfortable with who they are has to take second place to keeping their jobs,” Kluwe wrote in a CNN op-ed.
“This isn't right.”
“It's not right that professional sports, and especially the professional sports media, have created an environment where gay players are willing to hide essential components of themselves as human beings in order to pursue their dreams, in order to not be a distraction. It's not right that our insatiable lust for sports coverage creates an atmosphere where someone would willingly subordinate his life to a backward and bigoted worldview in order to stay employed.”
Kluwe told fans and media that an openly gay player would only be a distraction “if you make it one.”
“Players – those of you worried about a gay teammate checking out your ass in the show, or hitting on you in the steam room, or bringing too much attention to the team – I have four simple words for you. Grow the f*** up. This is our job, we are adults, so would you kindly act like one?”
“And finally, to the gay player who does eventually come out, whoever that brave individual happens to be – will you have to deal with media attention, with heightened scrutiny? Yes. Despite everything Brendon [Ayanbadejo], Scott [Fujita], myself, and all your other allies do, despite all the articles we write and interviews we give, despite the growing acceptance across this entire country, there are going to be people who insist on looking at you through the lens of your sexuality, and not at your skills as a football player. But you know what? All of us understand the truth.”
“You are a teammate, a friend, and you do not have to sacrifice who you are for the team to win, no matter what anyone else says.”