Outspoken LGBT ally, marriage equality supporter, and former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe says he will be signing with the Oakland Raiders, according to a report by Fox Sports.
Kluwe told former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo — now writing for FoxSports.com — that he’s joining the Raiders, and that his deal is for one year and the league minimum.
“I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California,” Kluwe, who attended high school in Southern California before going to UCLA, told me on Wednesday. “Now, my family can actually come to games.”
Kluwe is known for his mind and mouth, as well as his leg. He is a vocal advocate of equality in sports (and life), and says he will continue to speak for what he believes.
“I’m still going to be myself socially and continue to tweet and interact with my fans,” Kluwe said.
In recent years, Kluwe has become an outspoken advocate for marriage equality and LGBT rights, a thorn in the side of the NFL establishment and a player who never subscribed the mantra “punters should be seen and not heard.”
After being cut from the Vikings earlier this month, Kluwe himself wondered aloud last week if his activism would contribute to his release from the Vikings.
“It’s a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut,” Kluwe told NBC Sports on April 28 via text message.
Article continues belowKluwe spent eight years in Minnesota, where same-sex marriage was legalized just this week.
He heads to California where the issue of same-sex marriage remains a polarizing topic — Kluwe said he is focused on punting, but that he is keeping a close eye on the pending U.S. Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of Proposition 8, California’s 2008 voter-approved measure that stripped marriage rights from same-sex couples.
Kluwe and Ayanbadejo filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on February 28 in the Hollingsworth v. Perry case, in which they expressed their support for marriage equality.
Kluwe’s move has not yet been confirmed by the Raiders, although the signing is expected to be formally announced on Thursday.