Here's the key question to consider after the Minnesota Vikings made it official Monday and released punter Chris Kluwe: Would Kluwe be an ex-Viking today if he had never campaigned for gay rights, Hall of Fame candidacies and other issues?
My informed guess: Probably.
So what impact did Kluwe's public advocacy play in the Vikings' decision? It moved the odds from "probably" to "certainty," erasing any equity his eight-career with the franchise might otherwise have built.
I know that explanation won't satisfy those of you who are convinced the Vikings targeted Kluwe because he took on a politically and socially sensitive issue. It's easy to see this move, contextualize it with the Baltimore Ravens' release of special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo, and suspect an agenda against NFL players who get involved in the gay rights issue.
I just don't think it's that simple.