If you want to march at the front of the line, you probably should be all in.
Now, I'm not sure what to think of Chris Kluwe after Thursday's Deadspin article. When he was here he appeared to be a crusader, an activist who stood on his principles, and was unwavering except, we now find, when it came to his own workplace. Apparently, he was out there advocating for same-sex marriage, and hence gay rights, while keeping quiet about his own allegedly homophobic boss so as not to ruffle any feathers and jeopardize his job status.
So it's OK to tell other people what to do and how to behave as long as it doesn't affect you?
In an article posted on the Deadspin website, Kluwe calls Vikings special-teams coach Mike Priefer a bigot and accuses him of homophobic slurs, one of which seems downright sadistic. The main point of the article is that Kluwe believes he lost his job with the Vikings for his advocacy of same-sex marriage.
And now that his career appears over, Kluwe again is aboard the social justice train, clearly trying to make sure that Priefer goes unemployed as punishment for past offenses.
I don't know Mike Priefer. If what Kluwe says is accurate, it's unlikely Priefer will work in the NFL again any time soon. Although, if a guy is as off-center as Kluwe paints Priefer, it usually gets around. But again, if it's true, there is no expiration date on exposing prejudice, and Kluwe did everyone a service by speaking out.
But if Kluwe really had wanted to make an impact, he could have exposed the situation while he was still a Viking. That would have been courageous and honorable. Now it smacks of revenge and maybe a legal settlement.
Obviously, he could argue that he feared for his job and, therefore, opted to stay silent. That's understandable. But if you're going to be at the head of the march and carrying the biggest sign, you probably have certain inherent responsibilities as far as walking the walk.
When he was here, a lot of us admired his moral compass. Whether people agreed with him or not, he was unwavering when it came to his beliefs. He refused to cave in, he wrote in the Deadspin article, when Leslie Frazier, Rick Spielman and Priefer repeatedly tried to silence him on the same-sex marriage issue, which was up for vote here in Minnesota.
Kluwe also wrote that Spielman tried to silence him when he began tweeting about the pope. Those tweets, according to Kluwe, “concerned the lack of transparency and endemic institutional corruption of the Catholic Church, which among other things allowed child abuse to flourish. I also pointed out how that applied equally to financial and government institutions ...”
Chris Kluwe has a lot to say. Usually in the newspapers or in front of the cameras. But apparently not so much in private.
He never was shy about calling out someone he felt was unfair. For example, he sent a profanity-laced letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. for allegedly trying to stifle a Baltimore Ravens player's pro-gay marriage views. That letter, like most of his remarks, found its way into national headlines.
You have to admire his tenacity. But although he had no trouble calling out others for perpetuating injustice, or at least ignoring it, Kluwe opted to remain silent when, by his own account, injustice was happening right in front of him.
I guess we all have to pick and choose every day. Every one of us.