I don’t know a whole lot about football. In a pinch I will root for the Ravens because they are named for the quintessential Edgar Allen Poe poem (though one hopes their Super Bowl win will not live up to the poem’s refrain).
Up until a couple years ago I thought the Vikings were cool, too, because Loki is rad and so is Odin. And Valkeries! And Berserkers!! I also bet ponies by color of silks and horses’ names. Yes, I am sports challenged. Actually when the Viking’s punter (that’s the guy who kicks the ball on fourth and long) Chris Kluwe spoke up for marriage equality in Minnesota as a private citizen, not as a Viking, it put the team on my radar. Goooo Minnysoooootah!
Kluwe was bucking stereotypes of thick-skulled football players, and setting a positive, inclusionary message since there are plenty of LGBT football fans, and every adult should have the right to get married.
Only Minnesota Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer repeatedly used homophobic language in Kluwe’s presence and spouted Biblical quotes as his justification for his bigotry.
After escalating hostilities as well as surgery on his knee, Kluwe was replaced by a draft pick. He sued the Vikings over their anti-gay behavior. Today the lawsuit was settled with the team donating a substantial amount to five charities, including several in Minnesota, over the next five years. In addition, tweeted Kluwe:
They are implementing enhanced training within the entire organization, and are committed to a zero tolerance policy on homophobia…The Vikings will be working to create a symposium to bring together sports and LBGTQ leaders in order to address this issue in sports.
Priefer has been suspended the first three games of the 2014 NFL season and will donate $100k to LGBT charities.
Score! Thanks Chris Kluwe! And here he is playing bass with his band Tripping Icarus: