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Dayton criticizes Vikings for Chris Kluwe's release

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Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that the Vikings weren't being straightforward about punter Chris Kluwe before he was released from the team this week.

"The general manager said right after the draft that they were going to have competition [for Kluwe]," Dayton said. "They bring one guy in and he kicks for a weekend. That's competition?"

The Vikings decided to go with UCLA punter Jeff Locke, who was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft.

There's been some speculation that Kluwe was let go for his outspokenness on a variety of issues, including legalizing gay marriage--a claim the Vikings have denied.

"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," NBC Sports' Mike Florio commented.

Dayton said sports officials should be more honest with fans just as public officials should be honest with the public.

At the news conference covering a variety of topics, Dayton also announced that leaders in the Minnesota House and Senate are working on a "back-up source" of funding for the nearly $1 billion Vikings stadium.

The plan is intended to make up for the expected shortfalls in revenue from e-bingo and e-pull tabs.

Dayton wouldn't elaborate on where the new money will come from.

"I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise," Dayton said.

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