“Society’s trending towards more equality, and you see that in the locker room.”
– Chris Kluwe (to Larry King, on “Larry King Now” broadcast)
Oh, Chris: how do we love thee? Let us count the ways.
First off, few people can bring themselves to hate him.
As the Oakland Raiders’ American NFL football punter, Chris Kluwe comes off as a fresh-faced, cheery, potty-mouthed and an unabashedly proud “gamer geek.” Kluwe’s spoken up—loudly—about everything from NFL labor disputes to honesty in the media. Now, he’s championing gay rights and marriage equality—and it’s not his first time rocking the mic for LGBTQ inclusivity.
The UCLA alum combines dashing good looks and dorky gamer references (he owns a fantasy gaming store for goodness’ sake), and let’s just say his wife Isabel isn’t the only one who finds him easy on the eyes.
Hm…male model? Athletic cover boy? What? Okay, losing track of the numbers here.
Still, there are so many reasons to adore him.
As articulate as he is awkward, Chris recently appeared on “Larry King Now” to promote his book, “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies: On Myths, Morons, Free Speech, Football and Assorted Absurdities.”
On the show, he briefly mentioned his personal protest of the Minnesota Marriage Amendment and his ever-expanding record of LGBT advocacy, which started hitting its stride last year.
Sharing a viewpoint with Larry King that’s rarely been shared by celebs publicly, Chris went on to express a bittersweet regret about the Prop 8 decision, saying we could have pressed even harder to get more mileage from the opportunity to make permanent changes.
“I liked the DOMA decision,” said Kluwe, “Because obviously it extended federal benefits to married couples. Not a big fan of the Prop 8 decision, because while it allowed gays to be married in California as soon as they vacate the stay, the problem is, the Supreme Court had a chance to extend those rights across the entire country…whereas they could’ve made a statement.”
“They have a precedent,” he continued. “They have Loving v. Virginia—that says
marriage is a human right. They could’ve extended that out to say, ‘Same sex marriage, that is a human right, and you can’t discriminate against that.’”
Trying to keep realistic, he tied things up by saying, “So now we’ve just got to go to all the other states that—right now—gay marriage is illegal in, and get that passed.”
Earlier this month, in what could have been a media disaster, Kluwe shared a stinging truth (citing ex-New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s murder charges) in the following exchange with Conan O’Brien on the “Conan” show:
“Now what about the NFL? Where’s the NFL in all of this?” Conan O’Brien asked.
“They pretty much just left me alone,” Kluwe answered, “As long as you’re not out shooting people…”
Here’s the deal: straight allies often put their foot in their mouths, no matter how good their intentions may be. Chris Kluwe’s using his “big-mouthed” persona to our advantage. You just can’t hate on somebody for that.
Chris Kluwe loves World of Warcraft, loves the game of football, loves to raise consciousness and awareness, and is all about a message of transparency, fairness and equality.
In his “Larry King Now” appearance and his Out of Bounds blog, Kluwe rants on with this through line: if we are not honest with ourselves and protecting our own, our civilization is doomed. He simply won’t back down from the idea, and his new book likely puts that sentiment on full blast.
Well-played Chris Kluwe—and play on.
What’s your take on Chris’ mouthy antics? Do you think he’s trying to co-opt Gay Rights to get attention? Does that matter, either way? Wait…you’re too busy looking at his “Out” magazine cover spread, aren’t you?
Don’t leave us hanging, y’all—what’s the T? Let us know what’s on your mind, and you can holler at your boy Chris Kluwe @ChrisWarcraft on Twitter.