We're in Day 2 of the Chris Kluwe story. Whether you like it or not, whether you disagree or agree with Kluwe, whether you hope he goes away forever or stays in the spotlight forever, it is a story. His initial post on Deadspin now has more than 3 million page views. People care, or at least they are interested. (Note: This is not to be confused with the erupting Joe Mauer milk controversy).
Yesterday ended with the Vikings, Mike Priefer and Blair Walsh making statements after the Kluwe story went public. Today began with Kluwe going on local KFAN radio for a lengthy segment with some pretty good give-and-take. Here are some of the highlights, with the full audio clip embedded at the bottom of this post:
Around the 2:50 mark, Kluwe responding to a question about no players publicly backing him yet and the reaction from special teams coach Mike Priefer: "If Mike Priefer vehemently denies that this happened and feels that I have slandered his good name, then I strongly encourage him to bring forth a defamation suit and he can have his day in court and we can see what happens."
Around the 8 minute mark, former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber asked about Kluwe's approach.
Leber: "You look at the way you speak out at times, too, and it's very eloquent but at the same time you use a lot of cuss words and I think the approach can come off not befitting the shield and the team. On the outside looking in, it seems like to me they had more of an issue with your approach than your stance."
Kluwe: "If that's the case, then they need to fire half the guys on every single NFL team. ... There are guys who say worse stuff all the time about abusing people or doing stupid stuff. There is this disconnect between somehow it's bad what I did, speaking out about same-sex rights and using perhaps aggressive language, but somehow if you break the law, drink and drive or hit your wife, that's OK. Where does that make sense?
Around the 10 minute mark, Leber again with a fair question.
Leber: At any point in time did you try to have sit-down conversations with them -- and say let's talk about this man-to-man? ... Did you lay it all out on the line with Priefer privately, or did all this stuff just fester?
Kluwe: "No, because like I said, originally I wasn't sure if he was half-joking/half-serious. ... I figured we would get through the year, the marriage amendment would either pass or fail, and we'll move on with our lives and put it behind us. It wasn't until he made the one comment ... that to me, the way he said it and the tone he said it in, it was deadly serious. He meant it. That told me there's something there different. This is a guy in charge of my job. How am I going to go to a guy in charge of my job who has already made it very clear that he doesn't approve of what I'm doing and tell him, 'You think you could lay off. You think you could stop?'"
Around the 18-minute mark, host Chris Hawkey: "Are you out to ruin Mike Priefer's career?"
Kluwe: "I'm not out to ruin his career, I just don't think he should coach in the NFL. I don't think he's an appropriate role model for children or adults to watch. Honestly, it's about treating people the right way and not firing someone simply because you don't believe what they believe in."