Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who has been an outspoken proponent of gay rights along with former Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo, said that gay rights was more important to him than football after the Vikings cut him on Monday.
Speaking to HuffPostLive, Kluwe said speaking out for gay rights was “worth far more than football.”
He said he wanted to do his part in preventing gay youth from committing suicide and did not know if his viewers were a distraction in the front office because he was not in the meetings.
Earlier, Kluwe told the Minnesota Star-Tribune, “I think the sacrifice would be worth it,” when he was asked if he believed he was cut because he had was outspoken for gay rights.
“Now, I would hope that I would get the chance to play football again, because I think I can still play,” he said. “But if it ends up being something that costs me that position, I think making people aware of an issue that is causing children to commit suicide is more important than kicking a leather ball.”
It is commonplace for even superstars like former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison to be released in the modern NFL, but Kluwe’s views on gay rights have led mainstream sports and news outlets to speculate about whether he was cut because of his opinions.