Minnesota Vikings: Coach criticizes Chris Kluwe's 'distractions'
By Brian Murphy
Posted: 12/13/2012 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated: 12/13/2012 07:57:03 PM CST
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (5) punts in the first half as the Minnesota Vikings play the Chicago Bears at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, December 9, 2012. Vikings won 21-14. (Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)
Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer fired a brushback pitch at his activist punter after Chris Kluwe was fined for violating the NFL's uniform policy by taping "Vote Ray Guy" over the Pro Football Hall of Fame emblem on his jersey against Chicago.
Kluwe was fined $5,250 for the public shout-out to Guy, the former Oakland Raiders great whom he is advocating to be the first punter enshrined.
Priefer casually was asked at the end of his weekly news conference whether he would hide the Post-It notes from Kluwe this week to prevent a repeat of the stunt, and he used the question to take his punter to task.
"Those distractions are getting old for me, to be quite honest with you," Priefer said Thursday, Dec. 13. "Do I think Ray Guy deserves to be in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. But there's other ways of going about it, in my opinion."
Kluwe was not available during the media's locker room availability Thursday. On Wednesday, he said he expected the fine but acknowledged the publicity trade-off was worth it.
"It got people talking about it. I heard the broadcast team talked about it for a bit. Hopefully people will realize, 'Hey, punters aren't in the Hall of Fame. Maybe we should do something about that.' "
Kluwe is a staunch supporter of gay rights who used his megaphone as an NFL player this election to rail against supporters of a Minnesota constitutional amendment to define marriage as one-man, one-woman.
The Vikings supported Kluwe's
activism, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged him to continue speaking out during an October visit to the Metrodome. But Kluwe's advocacy apparently has worn thin on his coach.
"To me it's getting old. He's got to focus on punting and holding," Priefer said.
He was asked whether he shared that with Kluwe.
"Nah," Priefer said. "He don't listen."
Thursday night, Kluwe fired off this pair of tweets:
"I want you all to know that I just meditated for 5 hours in the lotus position, solely contemplating football. I feel spiritually cleansed."
"Unfortunately I now appear to be stuck and cannot move my legs. I might be downgraded to questionable for the game Sunday. Please send help."
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Side question: Was this the same Special Teams coach that was with the Chiefs at one time-name seems familiar.