Minnesota Vikings release outspoken punter Chris Kluwe

May 6, 2013 at 7:29 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, May 6 (UPI) -- Punter Chris Kluwe, well known for his outspoken views on same-sex marriage, has been released by the Minnesota Vikings, the team said Monday.

Kluwe, who averaged 45.0 yards per punt with a 39.7 net last season, was let go after eight years with the team.

The 31-year-old's roster spot became tenuous after the Vikings drafted UCLA punter Jeff Locke in the fifth round of the 2013 draft.

"So long, Minnesota, and thanks for all the fish!" Kluwe wrote on Twitter. "Thank you to all the fans, my teammates, and the Wilf family for the past 8.5 years. I wouldn't have traded it for anything."

Kluwe took a high profile in his advocacy for marriage equality for gays and lesbians, making TV appearances on such shows as "The Colbert Report" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" and working to defeat a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that sought to ban same-sex marriages.

"Chris has meant a great deal to the Vikings both on and off the field in his eight seasons here," Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. "He contributed to many victories and we wish Chris and his family the best and thank him for his contributions to the Vikings organization."

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