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Continued: Kluwe will sue if Vikings don't release discrimination investigation report

  • Article by: MATT VENSEL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 16, 2014 - 1:16 AM

In his post on Deadspin.com, Kluwe called Priefer a “bigot” and accused General Manager Rick Spielman and former coach Leslie Frazier of releasing him largely based on his outspoken support of same-sex marriage. Among his allegations, Kluwe wrote that Priefer said before a special teams meeting that included Kluwe, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”

Priefer, in a statement after the article went public, denied the allegations. Halunen believes that aspect of the report will side with Kluwe.

“We’re familiar with many of the findings of the report,” Halunen said Tuesday at his office in the IDS Center. “We do know that it has been corroborated that Priefer did in fact make the ‘nuke the gays’ statement by witnesses. We know that Priefer in the investigation originally denied any knowledge of the statement. When he was asked a second time, he again denied it. [Once] it was corroborated by witnesses, he finally relented and told the truth and admitted it.”

Asked for a comment from Priefer, a Vikings spokesman said the coordinator, who was retained by new head coach Mike Zimmer, would not be made available to reporters until the team determined how to proceed after reviewing the recommendations from Littler Mendelson.

Hopes for change

Kluwe, who wore a T-shirt that read “Punters are people, too” under his sport coat, said he would reconsider the lawsuit if the Vikings release the report.

“This is something that happens in work environments across the country, and if we want to change that, then we need to know that it happens and how we can change it, and sweeping it under the rug and keeping the report private does not help us do that,” Kluwe said. “So I think it’s just important that everybody see what is there.

“Yeah, it will probably hurt. These things always do. But the only way we are going to fix it is if we acknowledge that and make systematic changes all the way through the organization — up to management — and say that we are not going to tolerate this kind of thing, we’re not going to tolerate our [employees] being discriminated against.”

 

Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this story.

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