Chris Kluwe, the Minnesota Vikings punter who got cut on Monday, implied that if he and Brendon Ayanbadejo, who was also released by the Baltimore Ravens earlier this year do not get jobs in the NFL, it would potentially cause a chilling effect that would prevent NFL players from openly advocating for gay marriage like Kluwe and Ayanbadejo have done.
The punter, who was released more because of his age and stats more than his gay marriage advocacy, said other players may be unwilling to speak out about social issues if Kluwe and Ayanbadejo are unemployed next season. Kluwe and Ayanbadejo filed a joint brief in support of gay marriage to the Supreme Court and have been the league’s two most outspoken proponents and advocates of gay marriage.
“It’s really going to depend on whether we are able to find work,” Kluwe told the Times after he got cut on Monday. “If we’re not, then people are probably going to draw the logical conclusion. That will happen. I would hope the N.F.L. isn’t an organization that will allow something like that to happen.”
So long as players can produce on the field, teams are willing to overlook a variety of things, including stances on issues owners may or may not agree with.