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It's Official: Chris Kluwe Cut From Minnesota Vikings Over His Support Of The LGBT Community

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NFL punter Chris Kluwe has become a hero in the fight for LGBT equality but now he's a hero without a job. The Minnesota Vikings on Monday (6 May) cut the 31-year-old Kluwe from the team after more than eight years.

'Thank you to everyone for your support,' Kluwe said in a tweet.'Remember, one label does not define who you are as a person.'

Kluwe had feared the move when the Vikings selected UCLA punter Jeff Locke as a fifth-round draft pick. Kluwe texted to the NBC website PFT last week: 'It’s a shame that in a league with players given multiple second chances after arrests, including felony arrests, that speaking out on human rights has a chance of getting you cut.'

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said in a statement: Kluwe 'contributed to many victories and we wish Chris and his family the best and thank him for his contributions to the Vikings organization. Out of respect to Chris, we decided to release him now and allow time for him to sign with another team.'

In the past 12 months, Kluwe has become one of the most high-profile players in the league appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Colbert Report as well as being an OUT magazine cover story.

In February, Kluwe, a married straight man with two children, was honored at the Family Equality Council's awards dinner in Los Angeles.

Kluwe had already been working to defeat the Minnesota ballot initiative that would have banned same-sex marriage when he was propelled to greater fame when a withering profanity-lace letter he wrote to Maryland Assembly Delegate Emmett C. Burns went viral.

To Kluwe, LGBT equality is a no-brainer, simply something that's time has come.

'There's a famous quote that the arc of history tends to bend towards more freedom, not less. You are really seeing that right now,' he told Gay Star News earlier this year. 'Our generation's civil rights struggle is for gay rights because there's a subset of America that pays their taxes, serves in the military and is not treated the same as everyone else. That's discrimination, that's not what America is built on.'

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