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Chris Kluwe’s “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies” is a weird, wild ride

Chris Kluwe, the punter for the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, is as unlikely an essayist as he is a campaigner for free speech or gay rights. That’s part of his appeal as a public person. He complicates the stereotype, which forces anyone interested—fans, the press, readers—to deal with him as an individual rather than as an embodiment of a role.

Kluwe’s debut book, “Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies,” is a collection of very short essays, vignettes, letters, digressions, lists, rants, complaints, and occasions for showing off.

The title comes from a self-censoring revision of the now-infamous “Deadspin” letter Kluwe wrote to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns, who had demanded that the Baltimore Ravens force linebacker Brandon Ayanbadejo to stop speaking in favor of same-sex marriage. In the original version of the letter, Kluwe calls Burns a “narcissistic fromunda stain” and responds to Burns’s disappointment with a sarcastic “Holy fucking shitballs.”

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