The Minnesota Vikings are not sitting on the sidelines. The NFL franchise has retained the services of a former Minnesota state Supreme Court Chief Justice to conduct an independent investigation of allegations made by former Viking Chris Kluwe.
Yesterday, Kluwe stated in an op-ed that he believes he was fired for his support of same-sex marriage, and for his public support of LGBT rights. The star punter also wrote that one of the Vikings’ coaches, 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.’”
Priefer has vehemently denied Kluwe’s allegations, stating that he has gay family members whom he loves.
Outsports published a statement from the Minnesota Vikings announcing the hiring of “two partners of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. to complete an independent review of yesterday’s allegations by Chris Kluwe.”
Former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Chris Madel will lead the investigation.
“It is extremely important for the Vikings organization to react immediately and comprehensively with an independent review of these allegations,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf.
“This is a highly sensitive matter that we as an organization will address with integrity,” said Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Warren. “Eric and Chris have stellar reputations in both the local and national legal community. They have handled numerous cases involving a wide range of issues, and we are confident they will move swiftly and fairly in completing this investigation.”
Regarding Priefer’s denial that he wanted to “nuke” gays, Outsports reports:
“It’s the old I-have-a-black-friend-so-I’m-not-racist argument,” Kluwe said. “My guess is he talked to a lawyer and the lawyer said to put it out there in strong terms. For me, I have witnesses who were there and saw it happen. It’s nothing I would have said if I couldn’t prove it.”
It’s unknown if the Vikings, or any of the coaches named as a “bigot” or “cowards,” will use the results of the investigation in a lawsuit, should the attorneys exonerate them.
Kluwe himself had everything to lose by publishing the op-ed, in which he writes, “it’s clear to me that no matter how much I want to prove I can play, I will no longer punt in the NFL, especially now that I’ve written this account.”
Image by Eilidh Stewart via Instagram
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