Dear Donald Trump,
Last Friday, audio leaked of you making incredibly demeaning comments about women and bragging about sexual assault. When asked to justify your statements, you claimed that this was "locker room talk," and it's just how guys speak about women.
You're wrong, and only the type of wrong an over-tanned ham hock like yourself can accomplish, plummeting past the morass of gross incivility into the abyss of depraved sociopathy.
How do I know this? Simple. I was in an NFL locker room for eight years, the very definition of the macho, alpha male environment you're so feebly trying to evoke to protect yourself, and not once did anyone approach your breathtaking depths of arrogant imbecility. Oh, sure, we had some dumb guys, and some guys I wouldn't want to hang out with on any sort of regular basis, but we never had anyone say anything as foul and demeaning as you did on that tape, and, hell, I played a couple years with a guy who later turned out to be a serial rapist. Even he never talked like that.
Now, Donald, I'm sure you're wondering just what it is we talk about in a professional locker room, if we don't spend all our time regarding 50 percent of the population as mobile fuck receptacles eagerly awaiting our tiny-handed grasp on their love lapels. I shall educate you!
We talk about our families. We talk about our significant others, our children, and our parents. We talk about our fears that if a Hitler wannabe who can't even string together a coherent statement on domestic policy becomes president, what that might mean for those of us who are married to a member of a minority community, or are a member of a minority community, or have children going to schools where hopefully nobody screams racial epithets at them or tells them to go back to [insert foreign country they couldn't identify on a map here].
We talk about travel. We talk about the cities we've seen, the stadiums we've played in, what vacations we might take in the offseason. We talk about what country might make a good safe haven if a Russian-backed presidential candidate whose foreign policy agenda can best be described as "gross negligence mixed with a spicy dash of treason" were to have control of our nation's nuclear arsenal, and whether his stubby little baby fingers are strong enough to push in the launch codes on sturdy military-grade hardware.
We talk about money. We talk about what other guys at our position are making, what our next contract might look like, and how much paying taxes each year sucks, since we're in the highest tax bracket and play in multiple states, requiring multiple filings. We talk about how all of us pay taxes, every year, and wonder what a presidential candidate might have to hide if he so stubbornly refuses to release his returns, what possible foreign debts might be lurking in that finance closet he so desperately holds shut with every ounce of his contemptible mental faculties.
We talk about women (and sex!). We talk about wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, fans, and groupies. Most guys respect women, some guys don't, but never have I heard anyone use your particularly disgusting brand of sadism that refers to women as objects and not people. Even the most debauched club-hopping party animal talks about women more civilly than you. We don't let each other talk like that about women, because it lessens our humanity, and even though we're modern-day gladiators, we still hold ourselves accountable to the idea of basic human decency.
We talk about jokes. Clean jokes, dirty jokes, jokes that are in between. Hell, I made a joke about Penn State that got me in trouble years later, because someone thought I was attacking the victims instead of the institution that allowed such depravity to happen. You know what I did? I apologized. I said I was sorry. I didn't apologize with "if your feelings were hurt by it"; I didn't try to deflect it by attacking someone else, or their spouse; I didn't lie to an entire nation on live TV and say, "Nope, that never happened." I simply said, "I'm sorry, I made a mistake, I'm accountable, I'll do better next time."
See, that's another big thing we talk about in the locker room. Accountability. In a professional sports environment, all of us are accountable to each other. We're a team. If one of us messes up on the field, it affects everyone. Just like if a president makes a bad decision, it affects everyone. And do you know, Donald, the only way the team wins games? The only way we win is if, in the locker room, we're willing to accept that accountability, address our mistakes, and work as hard as we possibly can to make sure those mistakes don't happen again.
We don't double down on a shitty play simply because a small portion of the fan base got excited by it. We don't try to carve the team apart from the inside to appease a certain position group. We don't blame our mistakes on something someone else did, because if we do any of those things, we lose, something you've become intimately familiar with on a personal, financial, and political level, and I'm not having too many difficulties reviewing how that happened to you on the game film.
So let me conclude with some advice for you, Donald. The next time you want to claim that something is "locker room talk," take a moment to recognize the fact that were you in an actual locker room, you would be universally reviled as a cancerous, egotistical train wreck of a disgrace that no team could possibly find the time to employ and, honestly, would never even have on their draft board to begin with.
I've been in locker rooms, Donald, and you're the type of narcissistic, pants-soiling fecal eruption that just doesn't belong. Even football players are smart enough to know that.
Former NFL player, proud father of two daughters I’m afraid you would eagerly deport and/or molest, American citizen
Chris Kluwe played eight years in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings, is the author of the book Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies and co-author of the sci-fi book Prime: A Genesis Series Event, and can be found on twitter @ChrisWarcraft, where he's usually causing some sort of ruckus. He endorses Hillary Clinton for this year's presidential race, because, despite her faults, she at least can be trusted not to fire off nukes at 3 am when a Twitter egg insults her.