Patriot Nation

Patriot Nation

A Rebel Without a Kluwe

By 1.3.14

Did the Minnesota Vikings punt away a core special teams player because of his outspoken support for same-sex marriage?

That’s what former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe claimed in a long piece for Deadspin, charitably entitled “I Was an NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards and a Bigot.” (If you don’t have time to read the whole thing, columnist A.J. Delgado has written a helpful summary.)

Kluwe acknowledges that he doesn’t know for certain that his views got him released from his football team in May 2013. “This is a true answer. I honestly don't know if my activism was the reason I got fired,” he writes. “However, I'm pretty confident it was.”

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Patriot Nation

When the Season Goes Gronk

By 12.10.13

When New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski began writhing on the ground and clutching his knee, it immediately brought back memories of another late-season game four years ago.

The flawed but playoff-bound Patriots were in Houston. Wide receiver Wes Welker, the offense’s most dependable playmaker, seemed to tweak his knee on the tangled Reliant Stadium turf. (In 2012, a former Texans punter sued over the turf.) Welker ended up tearing his ACL and MCL. He rode off in a cart and New England’s hopes of actually accomplishing anything in the postseason — they were eliminated in the wild card round after an embarrassing home loss to the Baltimore Ravens — left with him.

History may repeat itself with Gronk now suffering the same season-ending injury (and a possible minor concussion to boot). At least it wasn’t Bernard Pollard this time. But if that happens, it will be a shame because this has been a much tougher and more resilient Patriots team.

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