It is no secret that I am a huge Vikings fan. Lifelong fan. Through thick and thin.
Now I am an even bigger Vikings fan all because of one player's actions and stance, Chris Kluwe - our awesome kicker.
Chris Kluwe took a personal stance to speak out about gay rights in a letter after Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo received strong criticism from Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. when Avanbadejo spoke out about gay rights. Kluwe responded to Burns Jr.'s letter to the Ravens owners demanding that they"inhibit such expressions from your employee." Kluwe's letter ended up spreading like wildfire and covered by a lot of media outlets.
As a result of Kluwe's letter, there has been an increased attention and support within the NFL. The Baltimore Raven owners responded to Burns Jr. by showing their support for Avanbadejo's stance on gay rights. There has been a change in attitude within the NFL when it comes to gay rights especially from a group of rough and tough players. Celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres and Sarah Silverman have also tweeted their appreciation for Kluwe standing up for this controversial issue.
Ironically, the State of Minnesota has the issue of gay marriage on their November 6 ballot. Kluwe wrote a blog post on this issue. He asked his readers to "treat others the way you would like to be treated. It’s not hard." His voice and stance even reached the swing voters like they did when our former governor, Jesse Ventura, was elected as MN governor.
I really hope that use this opportunity for more and more NFL players and owners come out speaking out about gay rights and marriage. There needs to be a strong stance and voice. During a recent PR event, Kluwe was also approached by a teacher in Minnesota and thanked for speaking out about gay marriage because he was "saving children's lives." Children look up to NFL players as a role models. When children see NFL players support the LGBT community, then they will be feel more confident and accepted even if they are not accepted in their own families and/or community.
Thank you, Chris, for speaking out for my LGBT brothers and sisters. You totally ROCK!