Kluwe to meet with investigators next week, says lawyer: "My client has one motivation"

Categories: Chris Kluwe
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Tony Nelson for City Pages
The investigation into Chris Kluwe's allegations against the Vikings is on.

"Our goal is that at the end of the day, for sports teams to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward any form of discrimination against any member of the LGBT community," said Kluwe's lawyer, Clayton Halunen, in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon. "The Vikings have told us that they are on board with that, and they will work with us towards that."

See Also:
- Chris Kluwe calls for Priefer's firing, mulls hostile workplace claim [INTERVIEW]
- Special Report: Chris Kluwe speaks out against homophobia in the NFL

Last Thursday, the former Vikings punter published an explosive Deadspin column, titled, "I was an NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards and a Bigot."

The team kicked into action, and the very next day, announced that it had hired two investigators with chops: a former Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice, Eric Magnuson, and a one-time prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, Chris Madel. Both are now partners at the Minneapolis-based firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.

Magnuson and Madel are tasked with reviewing Kluwe's account and recommending action. But what that review will look like is still taking shape.

They will analyze documents, including text messages and emails, and their witness list could be as many as 80 names long, according to Halunen.

The biggest question mark is whether the identities of those witnesses, particularly those whom Kluwe names to back up his account, will be made public.

"A lot of it's going to come down to the Vikings' agreement on issues regarding protecting the identity of witnesses," explains Halunen. "My client has great interest in preserving their anonymity, because he does not want them to be blackballed, or retaliated against in any way."

While Halunen and Kluwe will try to "protect the witnesses to the best we can," Halunen says, they ultimately have an obligation to the investigation. "My client understands that," Halunen continues, "and we will provide full information that corroborates his allegations."

Because the investigation isn't in the realm of criminal or civil court, Magnuson and Madel's hands are tied to a degree. They won't be able to subpoena information, or have witnesses give sworn testimony.

Kluwe, who now lives in California, is set to travel to the Twin Cities next week to meet with the investigators for the first time. The exact date is still pending. Halunen says he doesn't know what the initial interview will involve.

One of the investigators, Madel, has done something like this before. In 2010 and 2011, he led the investigation into political kickbacks at the Fiesta Bowl, in Phoenix. That review, which culminated in a 276-page public report, is generally considered an example of best practices.

"It is recognized as a model for conducting impartial investigations," Halunen says. "We've agreed that that model would be a viable model to use, so we are hopeful that that will allow the investigation to move forward with certain protocols in place, which give us confidence that it will be balanced and it will be impartial."

Since Kluwe broke his allegations last week, they've sparked a lot of chatter, and even some backlash.

"There's been a lot of spin out there as far as what my client's true motivations are, and what the point of all this is," Halunen says. "I would just like to be clear: My client has one motivation, and that is to do his part in eliminating homophobia in professional sports, including at the Minnesota Vikings and in the NFL."

"Professional sports organizations have gotten away with it for so long that it's not only tolerated, it's condoned," Halunen continues. "My client says, not anymore."

-- Tips or comments? Reach Olivia LaVecchia by email or on Twitter at @olavecchia

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57 comments
David Lutchen
David Lutchen

Saw this somewhere on FB and determined its as pithy as it gets and hard to argue.. "Kluwe's allegations on his former coaches come at an interesting time. The coaches that made a decision to cut him (and because of this pretty much ended his career due to the fact that he wasn't good enough to earn an offer from another team) are currently looking for jobs. What better way to get back at them then trying to make them out as horrible people so they become less desirable. Kluwe has too big of a mouth to wait this long if it was the truth, there is definitely a hidden agenda."

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

Danielle, he's bringing it up now because the head coach position just became available. Preifer is one of the contenders for the position. If he was merely complaining about being let go he would have brought all this up right after he was let go, right?

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

If others were to step forward wouldn't they face the same fate?

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

Why would he have waited then? If his angle was just to bitch about being fired he would have made these statements sooner.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

So when does Kluwe begin his campaign against homophobia in NASCAR? #TweetsAreYours



Scott Conrad
Scott Conrad

He is a drama queen if he would have worried more about punting than grandstanding he might still be in nfl the vikes punter we have now is six times better than the human freak show

Paul Gerold
Paul Gerold

It's like his ankles went as limp as his wrists.

Marlena Myles
Marlena Myles

None vouched publicly in support of him. Why not? They might be blacklisted too. He said he wants to protect their anonymity. He's a smart guy, I doubt he'd say these things just to get sued; there's some truth to what he heard. And it was like 3 players who said they never heard their coach say things like that and couldn't imagine it. But show me where they talked about that particular meeting where Kluwe said he heard the nuke all gays comment.

Jon Kragness
Jon Kragness

Agree with why he was cut. The homophobia side of this, and going after people when noone else is vouching for you is the questionable end of it.

Jon Kragness
Jon Kragness

So is everyone on the Vikings a bunch of liars? Noone on that team vouched for Kluwe. They all said that that particular coach was a good guy that didn't act the way Kluwe accounted. I appreciate what he tries to do for speaking out, but if he is erroneously attacking someone and perhaps ruining their credibility, that's just wrong.

Marlena Myles
Marlena Myles

He's helping keep the conversation going, though. I think the NFL is not friendly towards guys who aren't into that "macho" image. See the out-players who are not playing anymore, Aaron Rodgers feeling the need to adjust internet rumors about his sexuality, etc. It's some dark secret the NFL is hiding. And Matthew I think once this "scandal" goes wherever it goes, he can still talk to colleges and high school; great idea. He doesn't have a job as a punter anymore, but he's passionate about equality and can making a living and difference there still.

Danielle Henkels
Danielle Henkels

So true Matt. Gee bet he never heard anything homophobic in college either... I agree with his cause too,but he's going out it the wrong way. And name calling doesn't work for either side.

Jon Kragness
Jon Kragness

Noone besides Kluwe has ever referred to this guy that way. I am not ready to take his word on it. If others came out about this coach, it would be one thing.

Danielle Henkels
Danielle Henkels

You know that statement is a problem. You've heard from Kluwe. Doesn't Preifer get a chance too? No one else on the team has come forward saying this was said. Walsh said it never happened... jumping to defend one without listening to the full story as it plays out is not right. But thing is Kluwe would not have been cut if he had been performing. Heck AP was a distraction this year a little bit, but he wasn't cut for it because he was doing his job. That's how it works.

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

If this is what he really wants, he should be talking to colleges and high schools. By the time a player enters the NFL the "frat boy/brotherhood" has already started. In other words, I like his cause, but he's not getting to the root of the problem.

Danielle Henkels
Danielle Henkels

If that was his concern why is he bringing this up a year and a half later?

Kelly Myers
Kelly Myers

Molly Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Chris Kluwe all people we need to forget about in 2014.

Danielle Henkels
Danielle Henkels

I'm straight and I support gay marriage. But I also don't believe he was cut because of his writing. It was for performance.

Danielle Henkels
Danielle Henkels

If he had been performing they wouldn't have cared...they did what they did with Longwell the year before and cut the older expensive one and drafted. Simple enough.

Michael G Strouss
Michael G Strouss

If his right foot was as big as his ego, he'd still be playing!!!!

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

I'm sure in Oakland he never heard homophobic language? I guess that only happens on the first team that "just happens" to cut you? Kluwe was cut because he was too expensive for his skills and his comments brought unwanted attention to a struggling football team.

St.G
St.G

Kluwe haters: if someone familiar with the situation with no job to lose can't make a stand against something very wrong, who else should?

Carrie Graf
Carrie Graf

The guys insinuating Kluwe is gay just because he believes in equality are all part of the problem. If you are secure with your own sexuality you wouldn't make fun of others.

Jean Hehn
Jean Hehn

It's not about being gay or straight, it's about human rights. We are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated with repect as such. Take the labels off and this is exactly what Kluwe is talking about.

Trace Ludewig
Trace Ludewig

He's called a "straight ally" David and Kelly . Just because he supports eliminating homophobia doesn't make him a homosexual. "We" have more straight allies then you may realize. And really a fruitcake? Are you still stuck in the 7th grade? Use adult language your a man.

Dee Finkelson
Dee Finkelson

Ya..ya...ya...we hear ya. Next time u know Leslie Frazier might cry for some attention too. "Ohh..they fired me. .. coz im black. ..". Which actually its common to fire anybody with lack of talent or leadership. No Super Bowl ring, u r out ! But hey....we loveeeeeee 28 !! One & only 28 !! Skol !!

Marlena Myles
Marlena Myles

People who call him just a washed up punter attention whore are the ones missing the point of why he's speaking out, apparently. "I would just like to be clear: My client has one motivation, and that is to do his part in eliminating homophobia in professional sports, including at the Minnesota Vikings and in the NFL."

Onan
Onan

Of course the stats don't support your argument.

Onan
Onan

"But thing is Kluwe would not have been cut if he had been performing."

Kluwe's stats in 2012 were better than Locke's for 2013.

Statistically speaking, he is also the best punter in Vikings history.

Onan
Onan

Read Kluwe's original statement.

Onan
Onan

"Molly" Cyrus?

Is she Miley Cyrus' sister?

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

@St.GKluwe said human rights is bigger than a child's game, or something to that effect. Why didn't he prove that when he had a chance? That doesn't make the allegations OK if they're true, but it makes him look like a hypocrite.

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

@Onan"My client has one motivation, and that is to do his part in eliminating homophobia in professional sports..." 

I don't think he has time to train for NASCAR. He has hired himself for a much bigger job. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@TweetsAreYours  How does it make Chris Kluwe a hypocrite that he tried to save his career?   No matter when he came out with the allegations you phony assholes wouldn't believe him.  Do you think we are stupid?    I saw how the homophobes treated him when he spoke out in favor of gay marriage.   Just admit you are a bigot and you don't like Kluwe.


 Kluwe has never lied to the public before.   Chris Speilman lies every day to the media and the Vikings fans.  Only an idiot would believe the professional liar.     If what Kluwe said was a lie then those coaches and the Vikings should sue him.   His article was begging for a libel lawsuit.  Let's see if you will admit you are wrong when the Vikings sweep this under the rug.  

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

@Onan Can't argue that one. It's a skill, there's an endurance element, just like poker, but it's not a sport. Cheerleading, now that's a sport!

TweetsAreYours
TweetsAreYours topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann@TweetsAreYoursNice deflection of the subject, and projection of your own biases. Not impressed. 

He comes off as a hypocrite, and when it comes to his career, he's delusional. 

By the way, you're  a troll. 

Name calling really changes your opinion, eh? 


Thanks for the laugh.



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