- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Kluwe says he’s been released by Vikings
Question of the Day
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Vikings released punter Chris Kluwe on Monday, bringing an end to his colorful and outspoken eight-year stay in Minnesota.
Kluwe announced the news on Twitter shortly after meeting with Vikings GM Rick Spielman, a move that had been expected ever since the team spent a fifth-round draft pick on punter Jeff Locke at the end of last month.
“Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years,” Kluwe tweeted. “I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.”
The 31-year-old Kluwe averaged 44.4 yards per punt over his career in Minnesota, including a career-high 39.7 yard net average last season. But he ranked just 17th in the NFL in punting and was due to make $1.45 million this season, making him a prime target to be cut.
During his time with the Vikings, Kluwe earned a reputation as one of the most opinionated players in the league. He criticized union leadership during the lockout, wore a patch on his uniform to protest the lack of punters in the Hall of Fame and, most notably, became a vocal supporter of gay rights, penning a number of thoughtful, and occasionally profane, columns on the issue for various websites. He also plays in a rock band in his spare time and is an avid video gamer.
“And thank you everyone for your support,” Kluwe tweeted. “Remember, one label does not define who you are as a person.”
Kluwe’s release means the league’s two most vocal advocates for gay rights are now out of work. Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was cut by Baltimore in April.
Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer made it clear later last season that Kluwe’s headline-grabbing nature was wearing thin with him. When Kluwe was fined more than $5,000 for putting a “Vote Ray Guy” over a patch on his jersey commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in December, Priefer voiced his displeasure.
“Those distractions are getting old for me, to be quite honest with you,” Priefer said. “Do I think Ray Guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. But there’s other ways of going about doing it, in my opinion.”
“I have no issues if Chris Kluwe wants to express his opinion,” Spielman said then. “That’s his right. That’s his freedom of speech. This is just a football decision to bring in a guy and come in and compete.”
In the end, Kluwe didn’t get much of a chance to compete. Locke attended the team’s first rookie camp over the weekend, and Kluwe was out a few days later. It was a move similar to last season when the Vikings drafted kicker Blair Walsh in the sixth round and quickly released the more experienced, and more expensive, Ryan Longwell.
Also factoring into the decision is the Vikings will be playing their final season in the Metrodome before moving outdoors to the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank stadium while their new stadium is built. Kluwe seemed to have a more difficult time punting outdoors and the Vikings hope the move to the younger Locke will help them in that area.
Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq