Sunday's Los Angeles Times features a story about gay athletes and how they still feel unwelcome in most pro sports locker rooms.
Kevin Baxter of the Times wrote: "Consider the numbers. About 4,000 players spent time on active rosters in the NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball in 2012. With the best estimates of the gay/bisexual population in U.S. ranging from 2% to 10%, it's likely many of those 4,000 athletes are gay or bisexual. Yet not one has come out of the closet. Not this year, not last year, not ever."
Former Twins and Los Angeles outfielder Torii Hunter said he believed an athlete who came out could divide a team.
Hunter, who recently signed with Detroit, said: "For me, as a Christian … I will be uncomfortable because in all my teachings and all my learning, biblically, it's not right. It will be difficult and uncomfortable."
On Twitter this morning, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded:
Saw the Torii Hunter comments. It's sad when people take something founded on tolerance and turn it into bigotry. Says a lot about them.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) December 31, 2012
and followed with
Torii would also do well to remember that religion was used to deny black people their rights not too long ago. Have a little empathy.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) December 31, 2012
Hunter took exception with how his comments are being characterized, saying in a extended tweet:
"I'm very disappointed in Kevin Baxter's article in which my quotes and feelings have been misrepresented. He took two completely separate quotes and made them into one quote that does not express how I feel as a Christian or a human being.
"I have love and respect for all human beings regardless of race, color or sexual orientation. I am not perfect and try hard to live the best life I can and treat all people with respect. If you know me you know that I am not anti anything and to be portrayed as anti-gay in this article is hurtful and just not true."
Kluwe was among the highest-profile public figures campaigning in Minnesota's successful Vote No campaign in November, and a few weeks back was sharply criticized by Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer for the "distractions" caused by Kluwe.
The subject came up after Kluwe was fined for taping the words "Vote Ray Guy" to his uniform in support of the former punter's Hall of Fame chances. But it was clear that Priefer wasn't solely talking about the Guy issue.
Kluwe was unfazed by the criticism, saying at the time: "If the team ever wants to replace me, they will; I'm under no delusions as to how this business operates. We all get cut eventually."
You can read the entire Los Angeles Times story here.