Chris Kluwe settlement: Vikings pledge to be LGBT activists

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Image by Tatiana Craine
In light of today's settlement announcement, this seems like an appropriate alternative logo for the Vikes.
Sure, they might still employ a coach who joked about nuking gays, but as part of their settlement with disgruntled former punter Chris Kluwe, Vikings officials pledge to be pro-LGBT activists.

"As a family we have long-supported equal rights causes, including marriage equality," Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf says in a team statement released today about the settlement. "We are glad a resolution of this matter has been reached, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to create positive awareness of these issues."

See also:
Michael Sam vows to make Vikings pay for passing on him


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Kluwe creates Change.org petition to get Vikings to release entire Priefer report [UPDATE]

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Investigators concluded Priefer (left) did advocate dropping a "nuke" on "the gays." But Kluwe says there's more that hasn't become public yet.
:::: UPDATE :::: Today, Kluwe's lawyer, Clayton Halunen, announced plans to file suit against the Vikings have been put on hold, pending further settlement discussions between his client and the organization. Halunen said he plans to push for release of the full report as part of any agreement.

We contacted the Vikings for a response to Halunen's annoucement. Team spokesman Jeff Anderson sent us this statement:
Yesterday, Clayton Halunen contacted a Vikings attorney to request that the two sides engage in conversation. We believe that we have comprehensively investigated Halunen's client Chris Kluwe's claims that were put forth in the January 2, 2014, Deadspin article and have taken the appropriate action to ensure that we continue to have a workplace environment that respects tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. We are willing to listen to Mr. Halunen's continued concerns but will have no further comment in the interim.
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Vikings, Chris Kluwe beef goes nuclear after investigators side with team

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Kluwe claims the report released by the Vikings is a coverup.
On Friday, the Vikings released a summary of the six-month internal investigation Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. conducted into former team punter Chris Kluwe's claim that his outspoken advocacy for marriage equality prompted his release from the team following the 2012 season.

The investigators found that while special teams coach Mike Priefer in all likelihood did make the most explosive of the anti-gay statements Kluwe accused him of -- namely, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows" -- the reprehensible comment was not reflective of a hostile, homophobic work environment.

See also:
Kluwe says Vikings reneged on vow to release report about alleged organizational homophobia


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Kluwe says Vikings reneged on vow to release report about alleged organizational homophobia [UPDATES]

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The Vikings promised an investigation, but Kluwe says the organization won't disclose what it discovered.
-- Updates at bottom --

Early this year, Chris Kluwe went nuclear on his former employer in a first-person account of his last season with the team published on Deadspin. In one particularly memorable passage, Kluwe alleges that during a fall 2012 meeting, Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer said, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

Kluwe's piece prompted the Vikings to launch an internal investigation. But now, Kluwe says the organization is reneging on its promise to make the results of the investigation public.

See also:
Is Kluwe telling the truth about Coach Mike Priefer's alleged "nuke the gays" comment?


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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

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Kluwe backtracks, says he's okay with Priefer coaching if he disavows anti-gay views

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Both the Vikings and Kluwe have lawyered up as the team investigates his allegations about Coach Priefer (left)
In his explosive Deadspin account of the end of his Vikings tenure, Chris Kluwe said he went public with his story mainly because he wanted to make sure allegedly homophobic special teams coach Mike Priefer "never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level."

THE BACKSTORY: Is Kluwe telling the truth about Coach Mike Priefer's alleged "nuke the gays" comment?

Kluwe alleges that at one team meeting during his last season with the Vikings, Priefer, indirectly commenting on Kluwe's staunch support for marriage equality, said, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." Priefer denies the accusation.

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Jeff Dubay compares Kluwe's staunch support of marriage equality to "nazi mentality"

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Twitter
Dubay: Not a Kluwe fan.
ESPN 1500 radio host Jeff Dubay is serving as Mike Priefer's de facto mouthpiece on Twitter today, defending the embattled and allegedly homophobic coach against all Kluwe-loving comers.

SEE ALSO: Jeff Dubay blasts Bob Collins on the radio, calls him a "cheap-shot artist and a chump"

At its core, Dubay's argument seems to go something like this: Kluwe is all about free speech, therefore he's a hypocrite for calling for Priefer's NFL banishment over his alleged comment that "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." Without any apparent sense of irony, Dubay, criticizing Kluwe, writes, "The mindset of moral high ground can dismiss other beliefs leads to nazi mentality."

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Is Kluwe telling the truth about Coach Mike Priefer's alleged "nuke the gays" comment?

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Questioned by Leber (left), Kluwe wouldn't name names about who heard Priefer's anti-gay comment, citing concerns for his former teammates' careers.
:::: UPDATE :::: Vikings officials announced this afternoon that they've retained former Chief Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Chris Madel to investigate Kluwe's accusations.

:::: UPDATE II, January 6 ::::

Kluwe has also lawyered up: (Original post) In his Deadspin expose about losing his job with the Vikings, Chris Kluwe alleges that special teams Coach Mike Priefer made the following statement during a team meeting: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

RELATED: Homophobic Vikings coach Mike Priefer's son enjoys calling people "gay" on Twitter

Kluwe doesn't provide specifics about the circumstances of that fateful meeting, but on the radio this morning, former Vikings linebacker and current KFAN host Ben Leber said he believes the shockingly homophobic statement must've occurred, if it happened at all, during a "a specialists meeting."

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Chris Kluwe calls for Priefer's firing, mulls hostile workplace claim [INTERVIEW]

Categories: Chris Kluwe
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Tony Nelson
In fall 2012, leading up to Minnesota's vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, I spent about a month tailing Chris Kluwe for a City Pages cover story -- the Vikings punter who became an unlikely celebrity for the Vote No campaign. Over our many interviews, Kluwe spoke in depth about how the locker room culture toward LGBT people was rapidly changing across the major league sports gamut.

But evidence to the contrary was playing out in Kluwe's own locker room, according to a column the ex-punter published on Deadspin Thursday.

In the article, provocatively titled, "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards and a Bigot," Kluwe says he's "pretty confident" the Vikings let him go as punishment for his off-the-field activism. Among the evidence Kluwe offers are alleged utterances from special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer (the "bigot"), who has been rumored as a potential candidate for the team's head coaching position. According to the post, Priefer regularly made homophobic comments after Kluwe came out in favor of gay marriage, saying in one meeting, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

The Internet just about blew up, as it does, and there's already a viral campaign to prevent Priefer from getting another NFL coaching gig. Priefer issued a denial, and the Vikings say they will review Kluwe's claims, noting his dismissal was "strictly based on his football performance."

We caught up with Kluwe Thursday afternoon to talk about his post, the response, and what happens next.

See also:
Chris Kluwe pries open the last closet in America: major league sports [Cover Story]


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Mike Priefer: "I vehemently deny the allegations made by Chris Kluwe"

Categories: Chris Kluwe
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Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer has just issued a statement vehemently denying the allegations of homophobia made by Chris Kluwe is his Deadspin post.

"I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals," Priefer writes."I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member."

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