WASHINGTON, January 8, 2014 — Former NFL Punter Chris Kluwe is desperately trying to send his 15 minutes of fame into overtime.
In a move designed for maximum publicity, Kluwe penned a screed claiming he was blackballed from the NFL for support of homosexual marriage. Kluwe played for eight years, which is twice as long as the average NFL career. The Vikings drafted another punter in the 2013 draft because they figured Kluwe was at the end of his career; a new punter would do at least as well and would cost them a lot less.
None of the other 31 NFL teams picked up Kluwe. Kluwe claims the NFL blackballed him.
This is the NFL, which many people say stands for the National Felon League. They welcomed back Michael Vick after his stint in a federal prison for dog fighting. The NFL welcomed back Jamal Lewis after he spent several months in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
Because Kluwe made the politically correct accusation of homophobia, the NFL and the Vikings went into hysterical reaction mode. They made the appropriate politically correct affirmations then announced an investigation.
That isn’t good enough for Kluwe. He not only wants an investigation, he wants a secret investigation. He wants witnesses to testify anonymously.
It is stunning that the Vikings and the NFL even take him seriously. He said in the piece that started this all in Deadspin, “If there’s one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it’s to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level.”
Kluwe has a personal vendetta against the guy he holds responsible for the end of his career. He wants a witch-hunt and is close to getting it. He wants players to be able to testify anonymously against the Vikings. This idea holds all the fairness of a Stalinist show trial.
In a show trial, it is not whether the accused is guilty or not guilty. It is the seriousness of the accusation and who is making the accusation. Because Kluwe is coming from the far left, he does not think Mike Priefer should get a fair hearing. Kluwe has made it his life mission to destroy the Minnesota coach, and allowing him a fair hearing would work against that.
The right to confront your accusers is fundamental to the American view of justice. For criminal trials, it is enshrined in the Constitution. Even in civil proceedings, parties are allowed to cross-examine the witnesses against them.
In a trial, the court — the judge or the jury — decides which facts to accept and which ones to reject. Often this decision is made on the basis of cross-examination, where a witness’s credibility is tested.
In an investigation, there is a similar process.
Kluwe, like others who come from the far left, has no interest in a fair trial or a fair proceeding. He wants the accusation to be the conviction. He wants anyone who disagrees with him to be destroyed.
Priefer denys that he made anti-homosexual slurs, but he disagrees with Kluwe on the topic of homosexual marriage. For a leftist, that is enough. Disagreement with liberal orthodoxy is enough to convict Priefer and destroy his career.
Kluwe wants to set the ground rules for this inquisition so that Priefer has no opportunity to defend himself. In show-trial fashion, all that matters is the accusation.
The outrage here is not Kluwe’s accusation or even whether Priefer said what Kluwe claims. The real outrage is that a politically correct accusation of “homophobia” by someone who has vowed to destroy the career of his victim is given any credence at all.
The outrage is not that Kluwe wants a show trial, but that Priefer, who has been supported by his players, is even put through this inquisition in the first place.
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