NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — On one end there’s Chris Kluwe.
In an article posted last week on Deadspin, the former Minnesota Vikings punter wrote that special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer made several anti-gay comments in objection to Kluwe’s outspoken opposition of an anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota.
Kluwe also said that former Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and current general manager Rick Spielman encouraged him to tone down his rhetoric in an effort to reduce distractions to the team.
The UCLA alum was released by the Vikings on May 6, 2013, and didn’t play in the NFL this season.
On the other end is Tim Tebow.
Tebow, an ardent Christian who is as clean-cut and all-American as they come, is now a college football analyst for ESPN. The former Heisman Trophy winner led the Broncos to the postseason and a surprising playoff victory over the Steelers in 2011, was relegated to the bench with the Jets in 2012 and then was cut by his third team, the New England Patriots, prior to the start of the 2013 campaign.
Like Kluwe, Tebow didn’t play an NFL snap this season.
Though Kluwe and Tebow are on different ends of the spectrum regarding some of their beliefs, the punter is of the opinion that the too have a ton in common.
“As much as we are polar opposites on the things we stand for, Tebow is the exact same way,” Kluwe said on ESPN’s “Olbermann” on Thursday night. “There are backup quarterbacks in the NFL right now that Tebow is certainly better than — he could fill a role with a team.
“But because he brings this other stuff with him, just like I bring my other stuff with me, teams look at it like, ‘We don’t want it. We don’t want players speaking out. We don’t want players doing anything other than football.'”
Kluwe knows that his article for Deadspin might preclude him from ever playing in the NFL again.
Tebow maintains that his ultimate goal remains to be a starting quarterback in the National Football League, but it doesn’t appear that any teams are interested in the University of Florida legend.
“I think (if) anyone (is) speaking up about anything, the NFL is kind of like, ‘You might alienate a portion of our market, so don’t do that,” Kluwe said. “‘Just be football. Just be football.'”
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