Forum Communications, Published November 15 2012
Cancelled at school, controversial Kris Kluwe will speak at libraryRIVER FALLS, Wis. - The Coalition for a Compassionate Community has rescheduled outspoken Minnesota Vikings punter Kris Kluwe as a guest speaker for 2 p.m. Tuesday in the River Falls Public Library after River Falls school officials balked at in-school appearance.
The CCC had helped organize a mid-October Unity Day at the middle and high schools, securing Kluwe as a guest speaker willing to visit both schools. Shortly after the group announced its intentions, objections from a combination of parents, pastors and principals converged to cancel Kluwe’s in-school talks.
The controversy stems from a letter Kluwe wrote to a Maryland senator, condemning the legislator’s comments about an NFL Baltimore Ravens player who spoke in favor of marriage equality.
Especially with a related referendum question on all Minnesota ballots in the recent election, the issue - and the strongly worded letter -- “went viral” on the Internet.
After Kluwe was confirmed as a speaker, River Falls Superintendent Tom Westerhaus said the school district decided it could not risk someone using that strong of language with kids at the middle and high school.
“The issue was not about gay marriage at all,” said Westerhaus, “The issue was the language he used in a letter to the senator.”