Game Changer

Chris Kluwe is prying open America's last closet: major league sports.

No matter what happens this November, Kluwe is confident the country is changing for the better.

"I think the saying is, 'History tends to move more toward greater equality over time,'" Kluwe says. "Younger generations grow up and learn that, hey, having a gay friend or knowing someone is gay, it's not the end of the world. It's not going to kill you."

In the arena of sports, Kluwe has already witnessed an evolution in the locker room, he says. When he was a rookie in 2005, it was commonplace to throw around words like "faggot" and "gay" as insults. Now that's no longer acceptable. And when he does hear slurs, Kluwe actively calls out the other player, to set an example for the rookies.

"Hopefully, when they become seven-year or eight-year vets, they can pass that on to the next generation," Kluwe says. "It doesn't matter what your sexuality is, as long as you can play on the football field."

When the majority of athletes accustomed to such language retire, Kluwe is confident an NFL player will finally be able to come out while he's still active. It will be hard, Kluwe concedes, but the player will have plenty of support from people like him.

Asked if sexuality will ever be a non-issue in the NFL, Kluwe nods confidently.

"Yup," he says, stone-faced. "About 60 years from now, when all the old people are dead."

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3 comments
J.A.Justice
J.A.Justice

Very nice article.  

 

I'm surprised to not see mention of Patrick Burke's "You Can Play" group.  The NHL is making huge leaps in gay rights in sports.  The NHL as a league is hugely tolerant by pro sporting standards and a ton of top level talent has to literally fight to get to do promo spots for "You Can Play".  They had to turn down Sean Avery at one point because they had too many other players that wanted to participate.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

While I'm still not for gay marriage, I'm glad the mockery and shunning has dissipated.  I still recall the Jeff Alm suicide and that was only 20 years ago.

Dr.FrankNFurter
Dr.FrankNFurter

 @FattyFatBastard What's wrong with gay marriage? The divorce rate is high, it's not like straight people take it all that seriously. Unless you are against all marriage, which is a position that does make a bit more sense.

 
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