Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is famous for his (mostly gay) human rights activism. After writing that explosive letter defending gay rights, Kluwe’s following and exposure grew exponentially. Through his blog, media touring and radio appearances, Kluwe has become the beacon of gay activism in the NFL.
Well it turns out that Kluwe might need to pay a bit more attention to football, because his performance has slipped as of late.
“The Vikings worked out free agent punter Brian Stahovich earlier this week. On Wednesday, however, coach Leslie Frazier said the team is confident Kluwe will work through his slump.
For the moment, at least, Frazier does not appear fazed. Kluwe’s season hasn’t been terrible, but over the past two games, eight of his 13 punts have grossed less than 40 yards. Included in that group was a 20-yard shank last Thursday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Kluwe told reporters Wednesday he has identified the fundamentals he needs to correct moving forward. )”
Of course the suggestion that Kluwe’s on-field performance is inversely proportional to his off-field activities is lazy and ostensibly false, but the timing is inconvenient – because part of his pull is his status as a current NFL player. And we can’t expect Kluwe to work on his craft even more, because there are only so many punts a man can take. And for punters, it’s more about quality than quantity anyway.
But for Frazier to dismiss this as a non-issue is also an obvious lie, because punter is not a depth-sensitive position. If you bring in a second punter, he’s there to take the starting job.
For what it’s worth, we hope Kluwe continues to be the starter.