Report: Kluwe's Coach on Vikings Wanted to 'Nuke' Gays
BY Neal Broverman
July 19 2014 12:18 PM ET
The Vikings quietly released a report looking into claims that former punter Chris Kluwe was fired by the team because of his outspoken advocacy for marriage equality.
The team escaped most culpability, with the report saying Kluwe was released from his contract in May 2013 because of his punting skills, which the team was not happy with. The report was commissioned by an independent labor company after Kluwe claimed team officials were uncomfortable, and some openly homophobic, with him speaking out for marriage rights, and eventually fired him for it.
The report did find team brass found Kluwe's activism a "distraction," but the findings maintained it was not what Kluwe was fighting for, but rather that he was fighting for it in the first place.
"The record supports the conclusion that players and management were concerned about the distraction that Kluwe's activism was creating, as opposed to the nature and content of his activism. The record does not support the contention that members of management and the coaching staff were focused on discouraging Kluwe based on the nature of his activism."
Kluwe claimed head coach Leslie Frazier actively discouraged the punter from giving interviews on gay rights or writing letters to antigay politicians. The report did find corroboration that special teams coach Mike Priefer, who Kluwe worked closely with, was highly uncomfortable with his player's gay rights activism, and said in a meeting with players, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."
The team will suspend Priefer for three whole games, but possibly two if he attends sensitivity training. Meanwhile, Kluwe disputes much of the report and is considering suing the team.