Fired former NFL punter and LGBT supporter Chris Kluwe has reached a settlement with his former employer, which he says includes "a substantial amount" for five charities.
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Chris Kluwe was a star punter for the NFL's Minnesota Vikings. He was also a dedicated supporter of the LGBT community, first coming to national attention when he penned an hysterical attack on a state lawmaker in defense of a fellow NFL player's support of LGBT civil rights.
"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life," Kluwe wrote in a lengthy letter in 2012 to Maryland Delegate and Baltimore Baptist Minister Emmett C. Burns. "They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children."
"You know what having these rights will make gays?," Kluwe continued, in defense of Baltimore Ravens' Brendon Ayanbadejo, who was under attack by Del. Burns for his support of LGBT people. "Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?"
Ultimately, Ayanbadejo was fired, some believe for his support of LGBT civil rights. And ultimately, so was Kluwe.
But Kluwe, after taking some time to think, concluded that even though he isn't gay, he was the victim of anti-LGBT discrimination, and the Vikings had a culture of homophobia they needed to address.
He made those claims very public, forcing the Vikings to launch an outside investigation.
When they refused to release the full findings of that investigation -- including all they learned about one of the Vikings' coaches whom Kluwe accused of extreme anti-gay comments, Kluwe threatened a lawsuit.
The parties have now settled.
1. They will donate a substantial amount to five charities, several MN local, over the next five years.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
2. They are implementing enhanced training within the entire organization, and are committed to a zero tolerance policy on homophobia.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
3. The Vikings will be working to create a symposium to bring together sports and LBGTQ leaders in order to address this issue in sports.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
I believe the Vikings are committed to being leaders on the subject of homophobia in sports, and will work to make significant change.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
Also, I get exactly ZERO dollars from this settlement, so if you sent me a nasty message over the past months, go mainline bleach.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
We've chosen to help those who need it, in a way that hopefully will set an example moving forward for others to follow.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
Previously at The New Civil Rights Movement: