Ex-Vikings Punter Calls Coaches “Cowards & Bigots,” Team Launches Investigation
A former punter for the Minnesota Vikings strongly believes his outspoken support for gay rights got him booted off the team in 2013 and he wants the whole world to know it.
Chris Kluwe wrote a column for Deadspin titled “I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot”
where he puts recently fired head coach Leslie Frazier, general manager Rick Spielman and special teams coach Mike Priefer on blast for their alleged homophobe comments.
In the article, Kluwe goes into great detail about his treatment as a player the more his activism was noticed. He was especially critical towards his former special teams coach who he referred to as the “bigot.”
Near the end of November, several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue—some didn’t agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was “messed up.”
Kluwe was later fired in the spring of 2013 even with him maintaining that his production remained consistent.
Now the Vikings organization has lawyered up and are looking into the matter much more seriously.
Reports: USA TODAY
Magnuson and Madel are partners in the firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Their investigation is already underway, according to the Vikings’ release.
“This is a highly sensitive matter that we as an organization will address with integrity,” Vikings vice president of legal affairs and chief administrative officer Kevin Warren said in the statement.
All the coaches involved have vehemently denied the allegations and even cited having gay family members themselves. Things should get interesting as more alleged “truths” come to the light.
Photo: David Bowman, Out Magazine, Steven Bisig, USA TODAY Sports, UPI, Bill Greenblat, KARE, Joe Bielawa