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Raiders

Raiders Sign Punter, Gay Rights Advocate Chris Kluwe

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Chris Kluwe #5 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the game against the Detroit Lions on November 11, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Chris Kluwe #5 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on during the game against the Detroit Lions on November 11, 2012 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (CBS Sports) – It sounds like punter Chris Kluwe — cut earlier this month by the Minnesota Vikings — will continue to be outspoken about the issues in which he believes. Now, he’ll have to take his megaphone to the West Coast.

That’s because he has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Oakland Raiders for the league minimum. A resident of Southern California’s Huntington Beach, Kluwe replaces punter extraordinaire Shane Lechler, who signed an off-season free-agent deal with the Texans.

“I’m excited to be an Oakland Raider and be playing in California,” Kluwe told Fox Sports on Wednesday. “Now, my family can actually come to games.”

Kluwe gained national attention when he penned a strongly-worded letter to a Maryland lawmaker who had tried to discourage members of the Baltimore Ravens from speaking out in favor of a same-sex marriage initiative. He is now considered one of the most outspoken advocates for gay rights among American professional athletes.

Kluwe now gets the chance to start over after spending his entire eight-year career in Minnesota, where he averaged 44.4 yards per punt, a team record and grew in popularity because he showcased his love for fantasy games on Twitter and spoke loudly in favor of punter Ray Guy’s Hall of Fame candidacy.

READ MORE from CBS Sports on the Kluwe-Raiders deal.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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