Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe announced his intention to sue his former NFL team this week, claiming that attorneys investigating his unceremonious departure earlier this year had reneged on a promise by failing to make their findings public.
Back in January, Kluwe alleged in an article on Deadspin that he had been released from the team for his LGBT activism, and was constantly challenged by the “virulently homophobic” views of special teams coordinator Mike Priefer in the locker room. “Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays,” Kluwe wrote, “and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed.”
In response to the explosive allegations, the Minnesota Vikings opened an investigation into the matter and hired an independent law firm to determine the validity of Kluwe’s claims.
Well, the six-month investigation concluded this month and attorneys for the Vikings have announced that the findings will not be made available to the public or Kluwe. Speculation that the Vikings made this decision in order to protect Priefer was fueled by Kluwe’s lawyer, Clayton Halunen, in a press conference Tuesday morning.
In a news conference Tuesday morning, Halunen and Kluwe claimed they have learned the report will corroborate Kluwe’s initial allegations.
Priefer issued a statement Jan. 2 in which he “vehemently” denied Kluwe’s claims, including an allegation that the coach said during a November 2012 meeting, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island and nuke it until it glows.”
Halunen said Tuesday, though, that “we do know” Priefer later admitted making the comments when he was interviewed by investigators.
Attorneys for the Vikings are claiming that they never agreed to provide Kluwe or the public with the results of their investigation. Kluwe has agreed to drop the charges of “religious discrimination, sexual-orientation discrimination, defamation and ‘tortious interference with contractual relations’” if the report is made available to him.
Halunen is said to have scheduled a meeting with the Vikings’ attorneys to discuss the matter on Thursday. We’ll keep you updated with future developments.