Chris Kluwe, former punter for the Minnesota Vikings, is known for his Twitter use and supporting gay rights -- and he got into something of a spat on social media over promoting of One Team Pride T-shirts.
It wasn't exactly a war of words -- more of a spirited exchange, and it all centered around some new T-shirts that sport NFL names and numbers in rainbow colors.
The "Pride Shirts" are sold through the NFL Players Association website and the One Team shop, and the proceeds go to a non-profit that promotes tolerance in sports. The names and numbers of 20 players are featured, including Kluwe's.
"I would buy the Chris Kluwe one if I were to buy one," Caitlin Rogers told FOX 9 News.
Rogers explained that Kluwe's outspoken support of gay rights actually drew her in to football.
"I grew up in Minnesota and I had no reason to care about the Vikings or football until Chris Kluwe came along," she said. "I'm sad he won't be here next season because, for the first time ever, I cared."
Yet when Kluwe took to Twitter to promote the shirts, another former Viking -- Ben Leber -- responded on the social media site, saying, "I'm all for equal rights but the new T-shirts? Okay. We. Get. It. #overkill"
Kluwe, the Twitter master, jumped right in.
"Come sign up, Ben. Also you can be fired in 29 states simply for being gay. Not quite equal yet," he wrote.
That's the same message Alexandria Welshons was telling people as she raised money for the Human Rights Campaign.
"I don't think it's overkill at all," she said. "I think we need to keep talking about it."
As the Leber-Kluwe spat entertainingly unfolded online, Leber agreed that the inequality isn't right and said players voicing support was fine -- but he described the T-shirts as corny and wondered whether it should be a players' union issue.
Kluwe responded to say it should be a fundamental human rights issue, and that the pride shirts are a lot cheaper than his jersey.
"Also, they're about a $100 cheaper option for people who say they want to buy my jersey. I'd rather they bought the shirt," he wrote.
FOX 9 News attempted to contact Kluwe and Leber for this story, but messages were not returned.
The shirts are only available online and player participation is voluntary. For more information, visit: https://www.nflplayers.com/Articles/Charity-News/One-Team-Shop-Introduces-Pride-Shirts/
KDFW FOX 4
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