Why Chris Kluwe is my new favorite football player
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 12:09
I am a Green Bay Packers fan at heart. I grew up cheering for the Packers every Sunday – I bled green and gold long before I became a Bison. Growing up in western Minnesota, however, did not provide a friendly environment for me at school on Monday mornings. Yet week in and week out, I would defend my team against all comers – classmates, friends, even teachers would pick on me, to the point where I could not stand even the thought of the Vikings anymore. And yet, last week, I read about one Minnesota Viking who may just be my new hero.
I hope that by now you have all had a chance to hear about Chris Kluwe’s letter to Maryland congressman Emmett C. Burns, Jr. You see, Congressman Burns decided to ask Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo to cease speaking out in favor of a Maryland ballot initiative that would legalize gay marriage. The letter that Kluwe wrote is, frankly, the most perfect response I could hope Mr. Burns would receive for his actions. If you haven’t read the letter, Google it, give it a read, and bask in the genius that is Chris Kluwe.
Kluwe broke his argument into three points. First, he called out the hypocrisy of an American attempting to oppress the free speech of another. Second, he completely eviscerated Burns’ implication that professional athletes have no place in the political arena. And finally, he absolutely dismantled Burns’ own personal opinions on gay marriage.
The best thing Kluwe did was to clearly separate his ideas in this manner. By doing so, he immediately set himself above Burns in the argument. Chris did not allow his own personal opinions to muddle the facts he used to dismantle Burns’ statement. He used a combination of Constitutional knowledge and common sense to expose Burns as a hypocrite – he made it clear that Burns had no right to order Ayanbadejo into silence.
Perhaps the best, most venomous, searing portion of the letter was when Kluwe actually stated his own opinions on gay marriage. I don’t have enough room left in this column to espouse my views on the subject, but Kluwe managed to touch on nearly every one of them, all without mixing fact and opinion.
In all, I highly recommend everyone read Kluwe’s letter. Even if you don’t agree with his opinions on gay marriage, his writing is a perfect example of how to address an elected official when you do not agree with their actions or their stance on a particular issue. Separate the arguments into fact-based and opinion-based, be sure to do your research and add in a good helping of wit. Now you’ve got the perfect recipe for a Klwue-style retaliation!
Nathan is a senior majoring in landscape architecture. Follow him on twitter @nwstottler.