Forget Bill Clinton. Barack Obama who? Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe just wrote a "speech" about free speech and equal rights that everyone's talking about and no one will ever forget. And, um, he frickin' nailed it. He wrote to a politician, but in it, he's talking to the folks. In the language of the people, including dozens of delicious (and necessary) crude lines straight out of the college-educated locker room, he lets a Maryland politician have it.
Here's the background. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recently spoke out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. Then Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to "inhibit such expressions from your employee." Well, Mr. Kluwe just didn't think that was right. So he commenced in ripping Burns a new one.
Chris Kluwe's response to Burns starts out like this:
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.
Damn, right? Kluwe makes some solid arguments throughout and he is a MASTER at breaking it down. You can read Chris Kuwe's full letter over at Deadspin but let's take at look at the juiciest, grittiest zingers.
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1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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").
4. 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!"
5. 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 ...
6. 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.
And wait until you see his closing postscript.
Man, if there are more football players out there who can construct an argument so colorfully, I say get 'em off the field and up to the mic.
After reading Kluwe's letter, do you think football players should speak out like this more? Or less?
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