Walking across the Macalester College campus, Chris Kluwe passes unnoticed. As usual, the 30-year-old Vikings punter is dressed down: a pair of brown flip-flops, black basketball shorts and a baggy zip-up sweatshirt. A backward World of Warcraft hat pins back his shaggy brown surfer haircut, a giveaway to the Southern California boy's roots on this cool autumn afternoon in Minnesota.
|SoCal native Chris Kluwe is a punter for the Vikings -- and an outspoken advocate of marriage equality for gays.|
Kluwe climbs a staircase to the second floor of a glass building, where an LGBT group called "No H8" -- an offshoot of the campaign against California's Proposition 8 -- holds a promotional photo shoot. No one is expecting him.
"Are you here to have your picture taken?" a woman asks as Kluwe approaches the check-in.
He nods modestly. "I'm Chris Kluwe, by the way."
"Oh, Chris Warcraft!" she swoons, calling him by his well-followed Twitter handle. "I could fall over!"
Kluwe demurs bashfully, somewhere between cool and uncomfortable.
Two young photographers whisk him away to a white backdrop and toss him a plain V-neck. Kluwe peels off his sweatshirt and an anime T-shirt, exposing his muscular torso, the product of a workout he calls "Operation Adrian Abs" after the Vikings' running back. The photographers stamp his cheek with a "No H8" logo, slap a strip of duct tape over his mouth and begin posing him: Cross your arms. Now hold them out like this. More »