Raiders

Raiders sign outspoken punter Chris Kluwe

The Raiders have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with punter Chris Kluwe.

Kluwe, who was released by the Vikings on May 6 after eight seasons with the team, will compete with Marquette King and undrafted free agent Bobby Cowan to replace Shane Lechler, who’s since moved on to the Texans. Kluwe, 31, averaged 45 yards on 72 punts in 2012, which ranked him 22nd in the league.

Here’s what he told former Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo for Fox Sports:

“I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California,” Kluwe, who attended high school in Southern California before going to UCLA, told me on Wednesday. “Now, my family can actually come to games.”

Like Ayanbadejo, Kluwe has gained notoriety in the last half year or so for being a staunch and vocal supporter of gay rights. In September he wrote a much-publicized, hilarious open letter to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. In the colorful letter, Kluwe challenged Burns’ views against marriage equality and insisted gay people “won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.”

Following his release from the Vikings, there was (unfounded) outcry that he lost his job for being outspoken when it came to his social views. Kluwe, who has a substantial presence on Twitter, said he’s not going to abandon his activism and will be closely monitoring the status of California’s controversial Proposition 8:

“I’m still going to be myself socially and continue to tweet and interact with my fans,” Kluwe said. …

Kluwe is focused on punting, but he says his eye is also on Proposition 8 in California. Prop 8 was passed by voters in 2008 and governs that the state only recognize marriages between a man and a woman. The law’s legality was argued before the US Supreme Court in March, with a ruling expected in June.

Kluwe, in a move that should endear him to Raiders fans, also received attention in December when he covered a hall of fame patch on his jersey during a game with a (Post It?) note that read, “Vote Ray Guy”:

chris-kluwe-ray-guy

If the same note emerges at training camp, then we know he’s just sucking up.

[via Fox Sports]

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