NFL players have become more involved in political issues, especially that of same-sex marriage after Maryland state delegate Emmett Burns Jr. went after Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. While a handful of players have come do the defense of Ayanbadejo and same-sex marriage, none have been as outspoken as Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
Kluwe has recently picked up his efforts for equality under the law by posing for the current issue of ”Out” magazine and giving his extended thoughts on the issue. ”Out” is a popular gay and lesbian fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle magazine. It has the highest circulation of any gay monthly publication in the country.
“I’ve always relished breaking that stereotype of the dumb jock athlete because while I enjoyed athletics growing up, I also enjoyed reading and video games, and athletic sport is not what defines me as a person,” said Kluwe. “I think as more and more generations start rising through the NFL, a lot of these kids see that it’s OK to be something other than an athlete.”
For Kluwe, it’s pretty easy to understand his stance on the issue.
“It’s all about the Golden Rule,” he says. “Treat other people as you want to be treated. It’s that simple. It’s something that needs to be spoken about, and it’s something I can do while fulfilling my job as a football player.”
It’s great to see players like Kluwe sticking up for what is right and helping out for a much greater cause than just football. This type of discrimination also hurts young children and Kluwe hopes that it can stop.
“Unfortunately, as kids, sometimes you don’t understand what your words can mean because you’re not emotionally mature enough yet,” he said. “As you grow up and start learning about the world, you realize, Hey, some of this stuff is hurtful; I would not want to be treated that way. That’s part of maturing.”
Hopefully Kluwe’s outspoken nature will encourage more players to speak up and come to the defense of people who could use their support.
For those who want to see Kluwe’s pictures from the “Out” magazine photo shoot, here you go:
[H/T: Yahoo! Sports]