Your Chris Kluwe OC Weekly Cover Story Extra Credit Reading Assignment


Andy Mannix's excellent cover story on Chris Kluwe, the pride of Los Alamitos High School, shows how a Minnesota Vikings punter managed to eclipse his NFL career by becoming perhaps the nation's leading straight proponent for marriage equality. The story mentions a video Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recorded for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr.'s disapproving letter sent to the Ravens owner and Kluwe's hilarious, enlightening and inspiring open letter to Burns–all of which follow after the jump . . .
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See also:

Chris Kluwe's Game Changer: The Los Al High grad and Minnesota Vikings punter is prying open America's last closet: major-league sports
Muffin Spencer-Devlin Is the Best Lesbian, Manic-Depressive, Glass-Blowing Golfer of Them All
An Incomplete History of Gay & Lesbian OC


Here is a transcript of Ayanbadejo's video message:

I believe we should be doing
everything we can to make Maryland families stronger, which is why I
support marriage for gay and lesbian couples who want to make a lifetime
commitment to each other.

Here is the reaction that brought from Burns, in his letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti:

I find it inconceivable that one of your players,
Mr. Brendon Ayanbadejo, would publicly endorse same-sex marriage,
specifically as a Raven Football player. Many of my constituents and
your football supporters
are appalled and aghast that a member of the Ravens football team would
step into this controversial divide and try to sway public opinion one
way or the other.

Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place
in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment and excitement. I
believe Mr. Ayanbadejo should concentrate on football and steer clear of
dividing the fan base.

I am requesting that you take the necessary action, as a National
Football League owner, to inhibit such expressions from your employees
and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions. I
know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing.

As we're checking to see if Burns, who is African American, sent a similar letter to the Cleveland Browns back in the days running back Jim Brown was taking part in civil rights marches, please read the cherry on top of all this, Kluwe's open letter posted by Deadspin:

Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,

I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of
Maryland's state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me
ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for
shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider
several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail
(you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):

1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to
remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this
founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the
abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected
official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly
threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should
“inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically
Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First
Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What
on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me
that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First
Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of
persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another
person's right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a
disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to
approach it a little “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” bit.

2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no
place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and
excitement.” Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as
someone who's “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy
of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie
Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was
only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their
mind and do the right thing, and you're going to say that political
views have “no place in a sport”? I can't even begin to fathom the
cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled
mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously
contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely
worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for
“beautiful oppressionism”).

3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate
freedom? 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? If gay marriage becomes
legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you'll start thinking about
penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot
dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to
come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy
watching football too.)

I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero
effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your
children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They
won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery
because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90
percent of our population–rights like Social Security benefits, child
care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones,
and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having
these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like
everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that
entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean
absolutely nothing to you?

In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some
small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot
in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only
crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the
next election; I'm fairly certain you might need it.

Sincerely,
Chris Kluwe

P.S. I've also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so
you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr.
Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking
in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.

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Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

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