By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com January 16 2014 4:28 PM ET
Former NFL player Chris Kluwe said that if an internal investigation of possible homophobia in the league reveals no anti-LGBT bias, he plans to sue his former team, the Minnesota Vikings.
Kluwe was let go from his position as a punter for the Vikings at the end of last season. He said members of the management, like Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer, created a hostile, homophobic environment. Kluwe also said that he was essentially blacklisted from professional football, even after trying out for other teams, due to his outspokenness on LGBT rights.
Priefer has denied such allegations, and other members of the Vikings have defended the coach, however Kluwe says he has witnesses to the bad behavior. The Vikings hired former Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney Chris Madel to lead an internal investigation into Kluwe's charges. Both are partners at the law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller, and Ciresi.
Kluwe told political talk show host David Pakman that he would sue his former team if the investigation yielded no evidence that Priefer and the team presented an antigay, homophobic atmosphere. He added that he would rather avoid a lawsuit, but it might be necessary to get players to honestly testify to what they heard and saw.
"I haven't ruled out a lawsuit," Kluwe said Wednesday on the David Pakman Show. "I would really prefer not to have to do a lawsuit, because I loved my time on the Vikings, and I still have a lot of friends on the team and I love the organization. But if that's what it takes — if that means getting people on the stand with the threat of perjury, then something that will have to happen, because I made very serious claims, and they need to be backed up."
Watch Pakman's interview with Kluwe below: