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Chris Kluwe Plans to Sue Minnesota Vikings

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plans to sue the team over allegations of anti-gay conduct by a coach.

Jul 17 2014, 12:14am CDT | by

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Chris Kluwe Plans to Sue Minnesota Vikings

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Chris Kluwe Plans to Sue Minnesota Vikings

Chris Kluwe Plans to Sue Minnesota Vikings
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plans to sue the team.

According to The St. Paul Pioneer Press' Elizabeth Mohr, Kluwe and his lawyer Clayton Halunen are planning to take legal action against the Vikings because they refuse "to release the results of an investigation into claims his support for same-sex marriage led to his firing":  

"Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said Tuesday that he will sue the team because it refuses to release the results of an investigation into claims his support for same-sex marriage led to his firing. 

"The investigation was begun in January by the Vikings and conducted by attorneys hired by the team after Kluwe publicly accused special teams coordinator Mike Priefer of making insulting remarks about gays and the punter's religious preferences. 

"Kluwe and his attorney, Clayton Halunen, have said the report would be made public when completed. However, the Vikings have never officially confirmed their intentions, nor would they be legally required to release the results publicly. 

"At a news conference, Kluwe and Halunen said the team reneged on a promise to make the investigation public. 

"Halunen said he was contacted by Vikings' representatives Monday and told the team does not intend to make the report available either to Kluwe or to the public. 

"Halunen said he was contacted by Vikings' representatives Monday and told the team does not intend to make the report available either to Kluwe or to the public.

"'At this point, we have no choice but to file a lawsuit against the Vikings,' Halunen said. 

"His first request in the legal proceedings will be for the report, he said. 

"The Vikings issued a statement denying they had said the results wouldn't be released.

"(The) Vikings have never made or broken promises as Kluwe and his attorney Clayton Halunen have claimed,' the Vikings said on their website.

"'As we consistently communicated throughout this process, the Vikings will have further comment when the investigation is entirely complete and the team has made determinations on next steps.'

"Kluwe has accused Priefer of making homophobic remarks during a 2012 meeting and off-color religious comments after the punter became a public advocate for same-sex marriage.

"In January, Kluwe wrote a first-person account of his allegations for the website Deadspin.com, which prompted team officials to launch the investigation.

"'He would ask me if I had written any letters defending 'the gays' recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance,' Kluwe wrote in Deadspin.

"Kluwe, who identifies as agnostic, recalled Priefer telling him he would 'wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible,' according to his account.

"Kluwe also accused Priefer of saying in a November 2012 team specialist meeting, 'We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.'" 

Halunen's proposed settlement agreement with the Vikings include the release of the report and a $1 million dontion for pro-gay charities, per ESPN's Ben Goessling: 

"The attorney said Kluwe would sue the Vikings for religious discrimination, sexual-orientation discrimination, defamation and 'tortious interference with contractual relations' but would reconsider the suit if the Vikings release the report. 

"Halunen said he had been working on the terms of a settlement agreement with the Vikings, which would have come in conjunction with the release of the report and would have required the team to donate $1 million to charities that support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender causes.

"'The Vikings said for seven months they were going to make this public, which I think is important,' Kluwe said. 'Sweeping it under the rug and keeping the report private isn't right.'" 

The 32-year-old Kluwe played in parts of eight seasons with Minnesota from 2005-12.  

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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.

 

 

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