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Minnesota governor questions Vikings’ release of Chris Kluwe


Maybe it’s a good thing to build and upgrade stadiums without public money, after all.

For the Vikings, who enlisted and embraced Minnesota governor Mark Dayton’s assistance and support for the construction of a new venue partially with taxpayer dollars, the hidden cost includes giving the politician’s future rants a bit more credence.

Dayton reportedly has questioned the team’s decision to cut punter Chris Kluwe. According to KMSP-TV, Dayton expressed on Wednesday the view that the Vikings should have let Kluwe compete for his job -- and that the team wasn’t being transparent about its reasons for cutting Kluwe.

Dayton seems to think the decision was tied to Kluwe’s support for same-sex marriage. That’s something the Vikings have denied.

While it would be naïve to assume that Kluwe’s off-field interests didn’t become at least an ingredient in the stew that resulted in the decision to use a fifth-round pick on Jeff Locke, Dayton’s belief that Kluwe should have had a chance to compete misses the point.

If there were a competition, the odds would have been stacked in favor of the younger, cheaper draft pick. And so Kluwe would have ended up being cut at a point in the offseason calendar when it would have been too late to find another job.

The Vikings did Kluwe no favors by drafting Locke, but they definitely threw Kluwe a bone by cutting him sooner rather than later.

And if Kluwe’s off-field issues were a factor, it’s likely not because the Vikings oppose same-sex marriage. Football teams don’t like distractions, and if there’s a younger, cheaper player who is deemed to be equally competent and who will present fewer potential non-football issues, that player will get the job every time.