Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe announced in a press conference this week that he has reached a settlement with the team he claims forced him into early retirement over his LGBT advocacy.
In January, Kluwe published an op-ed for Deadspin that accused Vikings coach Leslie Frazier, general manager Rick Spielman and special teams coordinator Mike Priefer of orchestrating his ousting from the team. He alleged that the inherent homophobia in the NFL and management’s aversion to his outspoken support of marriage equality were to blame for his controversial dismissal from the team.
Though specific details of the settlement were not released to the public, attorneys for both Kluwe and the Vikings said the team will make substantial contributions to several LGBT charities over the next five years including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and “enhance” sensitivity training.
The total financial contribution The Vikings plan to make is unknown, but it’s safe to assume the figure is well over the original $100,000 the team offered to donate when Kluwe initially published his allegations. Kluwe’s attorney Clayton Halunen originally asked for $1 million in charitable contributions.
Both parties reached the settlement after an independent investigation into the matter corroborated Kluwe’s claims of homophobia.
Speaking on the decision, Halunen added:
“As one of the most respected sports franchises in the country, the Vikings have committed to continue to positively impact how homophobia is dealt with in professional sports.”
Meanwhile, two states away, Michael Sam is excelling with the St. Louis Rams.