There are those who will argue that Chris Kluwe has lost the moral high ground in his battle with the Minnesota Vikings over his alleged improper firing. Though Kluwe is continuing with his lawsuit, his case with the public took a hit when it was revealed that he also made tasteless jokes during his time in the Vikings locker room.
How can a man willing to joke about the horrors of the Jerry Sandusky fiasco attack Mike Priefer for his tasteless jokes about gays? Isn’t this the pot calling the kettle black? Isn’t Kluwe a giant hypocrite?
Leaving aside all the nuances of the situation, it certainly does not look good for Kluwe the moral crusader. Perhaps appreciating the need to patch things up in that area, Kluwe offered a mea culpa (via SINow):
I realize that a lot of people found my joke in poor taste, which I’m sure was the entire purpose of the Vikings leaking it. Character assassination is a tried-and-true tactic for any sort of harassment lawsuit. But it’s something where I was making fun of the culture at Penn State, and if it offended people, then I apologize. I’m sorry for that.
But to make it seem like I was making fun of victims of child abuse, I mean, that is horrific. And really that kind of upsets me from a personal perspective, that the Vikings would try and spin it that way, because that’s insulting.
The problem for Kluwe isn’t so much that he made a bad joke, but that he responded to the Vikings’ revelation of the bad joke by going on an absolute tirade, threatening to reveal all sorts of dark secrets about the organization. At what point does mounting a defense of one’s character against an apparent attack cross the line into pure bitterness?
Kluwe has begun to look self-serving, and that’s a problem for him, since he insists that none of this is about him. The apology is fine as far as it goes, but the damage has already been done. The Vikings already got what they wanted out of the “leak” about the joke. They baited Kluwe into what they surely knew would be an over-the-top response.
They didn’t have to take the high ground away from Kluwe, they just dangled some bait and let him chase it right off the cliff. Maybe Kluwe isn’t as savvy as he wants us to believe.