Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is set to be honored by the Family Equality Council next week in Los Angeles for his advocacy on behalf of LGBT people. He spoke out against the recent comments by Chris Culliver, the SF 49ers’ cornerback. Kluwe adamantly stated that Culliver was sending the wrong message to millions of young fans and athletes.
Kluwe stated “While he’s certainly entitled to speak his mind, Culliver is a role model whether he likes it or not. There are kids all over the United States who aspire to be right where he is and he has an obligation to consider the effect of his words. Kids are listening.”
Culliver has said that he was “just kidding around” when he made his homophobic remarks, and offered a half-hearted and hollow ringing apology.
FEC Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler stated about Kluwe that “Chris Kluwe embodies the positive values that I hope my own sons and kids across the country embrace in their own sports leagues and clubs. His words have not only encouraged LGBT people, but also the children of LGBT parents who want to feel their heroes support their families. Recently, we have seen other courageous athletes like NBA Nuggets Star Kenneth Faried and Baltimore Ravens’ Brendon Ayanbadejo speak up on behalf of their families, friends and neighbors. This is the type of dialogue we should be having as the NFL prepares to take center stage this weekend for the Super Bowl.”