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C.J.: No locker-room backlash against Kluwe

  • Article by: C.J.
  • Star Tribune
  • September 24, 2012 - 7:07 PM

The Vikings locker room is apparently no hiding place for homophobia.

I had wrongly concluded that punter Chris Kluwe's was a locker-room anomaly when he wrote a letter ripping into Maryland state delegate Emmett Burns Jr. Burns had criticized Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo's statement supporting gay marriage.

Burns complained about Ayanbadejo in a letter to the majority owner of the Ravens, Steve Bisciotti. According to a story from CBSsports.com, Burns said "many" of his constituents were "appalled and aghast" by Ayanbadejo's support for gay marriage, which "many of your fans" feel "has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement."

That prompted Kluwe to compose a letter posted on Deadspin.com that suggested the delegate "hire an intern to help you with the longer words."

BAM!

It is an extremely sassy letter that was a history lesson for Burns, someone Kluwe suspected was unfamiliar with the Constitution or its First Amendment guarantee of free speech. Kluwe also made note of "the legacy of slavery in Maryland" to Burns, who is black.

Kluwe's courageous screed (which would have been great even without various words unsuitable for a family newspaper) included these two sentences: "Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage in any way, shape or form affect your life?" The letter caused Burns to back-pedal, acknowledge Ayanbadejo's First Amendment rights, and conclude, "The football player and I have a right to speak our minds."

I told Kluwe he was my hero, but I wondered about backlash as a result of locker-room homophobia?

"Not that I've seen," said Kluwe. "I haven't heard anything."

Before talking to Kluwe, I praised him on Twitter, where I also expressed mystification that Burns, a member of a race that has experienced significant oppression in the United States, seems to be speaking up for the oppression of others. That's something that shouldn't be in the black lexicon.

"It's a stupid cycle every 50 years," Kluwe said. "Segregation, a woman's right to vote. Fifty years from now, what are our kids going to think about what we're doing?" asked Kluwe, a married father of two.

"Yeah, things have definitely changed that much," said Esera Tuaolo, who kept his sexuality a secret when he played for the Vikings from 1992 to 1997.

"It's very encouraging," Tuaolo said Monday of Kluwe's statement. "Now anytime someone [uses a homophobic term in a locker room], they are holding that player accountable. It's not swept under the rug anymore. Then you have somebody like Chris Kluwe stepping up for GLBT nation. It's amazing, something I never thought someone would do."

I suspect Kluwe may get a little attention from Wanda Sykes when she performs Friday at the Orpheum.

Bringing the Vikings good luck

Paul Allen wants to see Josh Duhamel at the rest of the Vikings games.

"He might be a good luck charm," KFAN's "Voice of the Vikings" told me Monday. "We might have to bring him everywhere."

A lot of uncertainty preceded the Minot, N.D., native, actor, model and husband of Black Eyed Peas front-woman Fergie, attending the Vikings victory over the 49ers Sunday.

When Duhamel called into PA's radio show recently, as arranged by Fox Sport North's Marney Gellner, there was talk of the actor coming to Sunday's game with some friends who are 49ers fans. Then last week PA was told Duhamel was having flight problems.

But the Vikings decided to give Duhamel the honor of blowing the Gjallarhorn before the game. So he made it here to do that, after which he was spirited into a private suite at the Dome, according to PA.

"I didn't get a chance to talk to him [at the Dome]," said PA, who wanted Duhamel's time in the metro to be perfect so Duhamel will introduce his wife to Allen, who admires her talent.

"Congratulations to @Vikings Football on the huge victory yesterday," @joshduhamel wrote on Twitter.

I'll second that. Christian Ponder played some fabulous ball.

90th birthday

Peter Dorsey will not want the young babes to read this number, but he celebrated his 90th birthday Saturday at the Monte Carlo.

His birthday was actually in August. When I was in the office Saturday, an e-mail popped up asking me to drop by the retired Dorsey & Whitney partner's party. Later I learned what a momentous birthday it was.

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on FOX 9 Thursday mornings.

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