Former Viking Chris Kluwe urges men to speak out against sexual violence


Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has never been afraid to speak his mind.

During his time with the Vikings, Kluwe became an outspoken supporter of gay marriage. After he was released by the team, he filed a lawsuit against the Vikings and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer claiming he had been released and harassed because of his views.

In an interview Wednesday, Kluwe was tackling another issue. The former punter told the Huffington Post that he believes men have the power to stop rape and sexual violence.

The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network says sexual violence can come in many different forms. It can range from sexual assault, to sexual harassment, to intimate partner sexual violence.

It's hard to estimate exactly how many women have been victims of sexual violence. But the group Women Organized Against Rape estimates that in the United States 1 in 3 women will be sexually abused in their lifetime.

So Kluwe and another former NFL Player – Don McPherson – are calling for changes.

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Kluwe says there are things men can do to intervene when they witness the behavior.

"It's actually fairly simple," Kluwe said. "If one of your friends wolf whistles at a woman or says something harassing you just turn to them and say, 'hey man, that's not cool.'"

Kluwe admitted that it could be a little uncomfortable, but adds that it would cause those who do those behaviors to face social disapproval.

Kluwe also proposes that more needs to be done to educate people about peer pressure with sexual violence.

"Let's educate kids on why it shouldn't be a goal, it doesn't make you cool, it doesn't make you fit in, all it does is hurt someone else," said Kluwe. "We've seen that education works with smoking and drinking, why not make it work for sexual violence?"

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