Connect with us

Fired NFL Punter Chris Kluwe Suing Vikings – Says Team Reneged On Releasing Homophobia Report

Published

on

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s outspoken support of same-sex marriage, he believes, cost him his job. Now he’s charging his team’s owners with reneging on their promise to release a report on the harassment and homophobic behavior he says he endured — and suing them.

Chris Kluwe was the Grand Marshal for DC’s Capital Pride last month. That’s him in the photo above.

Kluwe, a straight ally, came to the attention of the LGBT community when he wrote an anti-gay Maryland lawmaker who had attacked NFL player and fellow LGBT ally Brendon Ayanbadejo‘s bosses for allowing him to support same-sex marriage. In his 2012 open letter, Kluwe promised Del. Burns he would not become a “lustful cockmonster” if marriage were extended to same-sex couples. That’s the kind of guy Chris Kluwe is. Unabashed intelligent, and hysterical.

But after Kluwe was fired from the Minnesota Vikings, he slowly revealed his beliefs that he was fired after several years of being an outspoken LGBT ally. Kluwe appeared at the 2013 GLAAD Awards with Ayanbadejo — who also lost his job as an NFL player after being an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights.

In early January, Kluwe’s respectful tone to his former employers took a sharp turn. Here’s what he wrote in a Deadspin article:

Hello. My name is Chris Kluwe, and for eight years I was the punter for the Minnesota Vikings. In May 2013, the Vikings released me from the team. At the time, quite a few people asked me if I thought it was because of my recent activism for same-sex marriage rights, and I was very careful in how I answered the question. My answer, verbatim, was always, “I honestly don’t know, because I’m not in those meetings with the coaches and administrative people.”

This is a true answer. I honestly don’t know if my activism was the reason I got fired.

However, I’m pretty confident it was.

Kluwe went on to charge that “two cowards” and “a bigot” fired him.

So the Vikings announced they would launch a thorough investigation into Kluwe’s claims — not out of being magnanimous, but because Kluwe, if the charges are true, could sue them.

Kluwe’s Deadspin op-ed was not an exercise in polite discourse.

It’s my belief, based on everything that happened over the course of 2012, that I was fired by Mike Priefer, a bigot who didn’t agree with the cause I was working for, and two cowards, Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman, both of whom knew I was a good punter and would remain a good punter for the foreseeable future, as my numbers over my eight-year career had shown, but who lacked the fortitude to disagree with Mike Priefer on a touchy subject matter. (Frazier was fired on Monday, at the conclusion of a 5-10-1 season.) One of the main coaching points I’ve heard throughout my entire life is, “How you respond to difficult situations defines your character,” and I think it’s a good saying. I also think it applies to more than just the players.

Today, the Viking announced their investigation is complete — but they are refusing to release the report, believed by Kluwe’s attorney to be 150 pages long with 1600 citations, or any details about it.

Kluwe, who wrote a book last year titled, Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football, and Assorted Absurdities, is crying foul.

And he plans to sue, according to sportswriter Andrew Krammer and others.

Another sportswriter, Tom Pelissero, adds:

Image by Tim Evanson via Flickr

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

COMMENTARY

‘Just Three Words: Call Your Lawyer’: Legal Experts Weigh in on Bombshell Report Naming Republicans Involved in Jan. 6

Published

on

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights law attorney are weighing in on Sunday night’s bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or “Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss,” according to two of the planners of the “Stop the Steal” rally.

Rolling Stone reports “planners of the pro-Trump rallies that took place in Washington, D.C., have begun communicating with congressional investigators and sharing new information about what happened when the former president’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. Two of these people have spoken to Rolling Stone extensively in recent weeks and detailed explosive allegations that multiple members of Congress were intimately involved in planning both Trump’s efforts to overturn his election loss and the Jan. 6 events that turned violent.”

Those named in the Rolling Stone report as allegedly being involved include Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), and these members of Congress or their staffers: Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Harvard professor, CNN Analyst, Grip Mobility CEO, well-known national security expert and former Obama Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem says clearly: “Mark Meadows, just three words: call your lawyer.”

Marc Elias, a top election law attorney who oversaw the 50-state response to the Trump campaign’s attempts contesting the 2020 election for the DNC calls for every member of Congress involved to be “expelled.”

Elie Mystal, the Justice Correspondent for The Nation says this is a matter for the DOJ:

“The potential that Members of Congress were deeply involved in the failed Trump Coup is another reason AG Garland must appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Jan. 6th,” says former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean, who also makes clear this is a matter for DOJ. “There are Congressional staff who can testify to the involvement of Members.”

Glenn Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor for 30 years, is calling it the “mother of all cover-ups.”

Attorney Maya Wiley, an MSNBC and NBC News Legal Analyst and senior vice president for social justice at The New School says it “Certainly explains how hard GOP tried to derail” the January 6 Committee.

Continue Reading

CORRUPTION

Pro-Trump Activists Reveal Republican Elected Officials Who Participated in Planning of Jan. 6 Rallies: Report

Published

on

A slate of Republican members of Congress is being outed by those who attended planning meetings for the protest that resulted in the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, according to a new report in Rolling Stone.

Two sources, according to their story, revealed that Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) were all present on “dozens” of calls with organizers of the group.

Trump aide Katrina Pierson was also named by them a “liaison” between the White House and the rally organizers. Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows was cited as someone who also aided the group.

“I remember Marjorie Taylor Greene specifically,” the organizer told Rolling Stone. “I remember talking to probably close to a dozen other members at one point or another or their staffs.”

The former president also spoke to the group, saying that they were going to march to the U.S. Capitol and tell the members of Congress that they needed to hand Trump the election. He promised that he would lead them and walk with them, but that never happened.

“These two sources also helped plan a series of demonstrations that took place in multiple states around the country in the weeks between the election and the storming of the Capitol,” said Rolling Stone. “According to these sources, multiple people associated with the March for Trump and Stop the Steal events that took place during this period communicated with members of Congress throughout this process.”

“We would talk to Boebert’s team, Cawthorn’s team, Gosar’s team like back to back to back to back,” the organizer recalled.

While there have been reports of officials being part of the planning, this is the first report from those involved on the inside, willing to go on the record with investigators and the press.

“Nick Dyer, who is Greene’s communications director, said she was solely involved in planning to object to the electoral certification on the House floor,” said the report. “Spokespeople for the other members of Congress, who the sources describe as involved in the planning for protests, did not respond to requests for comment.”

“Congresswoman Greene and her staff were focused on the Congressional election objection on the House floor and had nothing to do with planning of any protest,” Dyer said in an email.

“She objected just like Democrats who have objected to Republican presidential victories over the years,” Dyer wrote, which is incorrect. No Democrats have ever attempted to stop certification of election results. Greene’s office named a list of Democrats, falsely saying that they attempted to do exactly that when it came to President Donald Trump in 2017.

Dyer went on to say that no one in the U.S. cares about Jan. 6.

Ali Alexander, the original organizer of the event is now in hiding, but he’s already said in a since-deleted video that Gosar, Brooks, and Biggs all aided his efforts for the event.

“I was the person who came up with the Jan. 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks, and Congressman Andy Biggs,” Alexander said in the video. “We four schemed up on putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that — who we couldn’t lobby — we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside.”

When he organized an event in Phoenix, Gosar was the main speaker. Alexander even referred to him as “my captain” and called him “one of the other heroes has been Congressman Andy Biggs.”

“He just couldn’t help himself but go on his live [feed] and just talk about everything that he did and who he talked to,” one of the planners told Rolling Stone about Alexander. “So, he, like, really told on himself.”

“The breaking point for me [on Jan. 6 was when] Trump starts talking about walking to the Capitol,” said the organizer. “I was like. ‘Let’s get the f*ck out of here.'”

“I do kind of feel abandoned by Trump,” the planner added. “I’m actually pretty pissed about it, and I’m pissed at him. What the f*ck?”

“I have no problem openly testifying,” the planner also said.

Read the full report at Rolling Stone.

Continue Reading

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM

Evangelicals Scrambling to Oust Belief in Trump as Congregations Are Torn Apart

Published

on

In an extensive piece in the Atlantic, former George W. Bush speechwriter Peter Wehner explained that some evangelical leaders are picking through the wreckage of their congregations that were torn apart by the influence of former president Donald Trump.

Wehner, a highly vocal Christian, has been no friend of Trump and is worried that the Christian faith has been damaged by the embrace of the one-term president by high-profile evangelical leaders which, in turn, has left some congregations in tatters as Trump supporters drag his politics into the daily church dealings.

Case in point, he notes, is a battle at a Virginia church where congregants were influenced by Trump’s toxic rhetoric.

“The election of the elders of an evangelical church is usually an uncontroversial, even unifying event. But this summer, at an influential megachurch in Northern Virginia, something went badly wrong. A trio of elders didn’t receive 75 percent of the vote, the threshold necessary to be installed,” he reported before pointing out that “… church members had been misled, having been told, among other things, that the three individuals nominated to be elders would advocate selling the church building to Muslims, who would convert it into a mosque.”

According to Wehner, David Platt, the 43-year-old minister at McLean Bible Church had already been facing accusations ” … by a small but zealous group within his church of ‘wokeness’ and being ‘left of center,’ of pushing a ‘social justice’ agenda and promoting critical race theory, and of attempting to ‘purge conservative members.'”

As Wehner explains, what happened at McLean Bible Church is not an isolated event.

“What happened at McLean Bible Church is happening all over the evangelical world. Influential figures such as the theologian Russell Moore and the Bible teacher Beth Moore felt compelled to leave the Southern Baptist Convention; both were targeted by right-wing elements within the SBC,” he explained. “The root of the discord lies in the fact that many Christians have embraced the worst aspects of our culture and our politics. When the Christian faith is politicized, churches become repositories not of grace but of grievances, places where tribal identities are reinforced, where fears are nurtured, and where aggression and nastiness are sacralized. The result is not only wounding the nation; it’s having a devastating impact on the Christian faith.”

Speaking with Wehner, historian George Marsden explained that “political loyalties can sometimes be so strong that they create a religious like faith that overrides or even transforms a more traditional religious faith,” the author recalled.

“When Trump was able to add open hatred and resentments to the political-religious stance of ‘true believers,’ it crossed a line. Tribal instincts seem to have become overwhelming,” Marsden explained before adding that Trump’s Christian followers, “have come to see a gospel of hatreds, resentments, vilifications, put-downs, and insults as expressions of their Christianity, for which they too should be willing to fight.”

“For many Christians, their politics has become more of an identity marker than their faith. They might insist that they are interpreting their politics through the prism of scripture, with the former subordinate to the latter, but in fact scripture and biblical ethics are often distorted to fit their politics,” Wehner wrote adding, “The former president normalized a form of discourse that made the once-shocking seem routine. Russell Moore laments the ‘pugilism of the Trump era, in which anything short of cruelty is seen as weakness.’ The problem facing the evangelical church, then, is not just that it has failed to inculcate adherents with its values—it’s that when it has succeeded in doing so, those values have not always been biblical.”

You can read more here.

 

Image via Shutterstock

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.