|photo credit: Joe Bielawa via photopin cc|
Last week, Deadspin published an article by former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe titled “I used to be an NFL player until I was firedby two cowards and a bigot.” In it, Kluwe claims he was released from the team in the spring of 2013 because of his outspoken support of same-sex marriage. He details the verbal abuse Mike Priefer, his position coach (the “bigot”), spewed toward homosexuals and how head coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman (the two “cowards”) made the decision to cut him despite ongoing solid performance on the field. Both sides have now retained legal counsel to examine the dispute and determine fault.
It is natural to take sides and jump to conclusions in such a dispute. We hear one side of the story and jump to the defense of the little man facing down the evil institution. Or maybe you think Kluwe got what was coming to him for being a big mouth or because you’re opposed to his stance on gay marriage. Regardless of our gut reactions, it is wise to respond with care and deliberation and consider several points in this particular case.
Innocent until proven guilty is a good principle for more than just a court of law. It should function as a principle of fairness. It is yet unclear where the wrongdoing really lies in this case. Withhold judgment until it’s clear.
Human memory is notoriously unreliable. Kluwe is writing a detailed account with quotes, dates, and more from his own memory. There is more than a little chance his recollections are imperfect.
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