Mike Priefer: I vehemently deny Chris Kluwe’s allegations

AP

Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer is denying former punter Chris Kluwe’s claims that the two of them butted heads over Kluwe’s advocacy of gay marriage, and that Priefer used homophobic language around Kluwe.

I vehemently deny today’s allegations made by Chris Kluwe,” Priefer said in a statement, via Paul Allen of KFAN. “I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member. The primary reason I entered coaching was to affect people in a positive way. As a coach, I have always created an accepting environment for my players, including Chris, and have looked to support them both on and off the field. The comments today have not only attacked my character and insulted my professionalism, but they have also impacted my family. While my career focus is to be a great professional football coach, my number one priority has always been to be a protective husband and father to my wife and children. I will continue to work hard for the Minnesota Vikings, the Wilf family and all of our loyal fans.”

Kluwe, who gained widespread attention during the 2012 season for his advocacy of gay marriage and his outspoken opposition to anti-gay bigotry, wrote today that he was subjected to homophobic abuse from Priefer. Kluwe, who called Priefer a “bigot,” believes that he was cut because the team sided with Priefer over him on the matter.

The Vikings (who still employ Priefer even though they fired his boss, head coach Leslie Frazier, this week) have vowed to investigate Kluwe’s accusations.

118 responses to “Mike Priefer: I vehemently deny Chris Kluwe’s allegations

  1. Kluwe said this guy told him he will burn in hell for supporting gay marriage.

    Does anybody really believe that? Honestly it is the most cliche thing someone can say. Which is why he likely never said it.

  2. He doesnt specify which allegation either.

    Say you didnt say it. Be clear and dont parse words- you didnt with Kluwe in that meeting

  3. Yawn….can’t we PLEASE stop with these social issues in football and just focus on the sport being played?! That’s why so many people like football, it is an outlet to get us away from the real world and stupid social issue drama.

  4. Go away Kluwe. You are a weirdo.

    But since I just called you a weirdo, like typical a Libby, you will scream foul and call me a bully and demand my employer to fire me.

    Go away Kluwe. You are a weirdo.

  5. Since Kluwe wrote in his article that Priefer said this stuff in meetings with other players, it shouldn’t take long to suss out who is the liar. My bet is on the vehement denier.

  6. I’ll believe a coach who toils in relative anonymity and still has a job (at least until the Liberal media starts waging war against him in the press) over an out of work punter who doesn’t.

  7. its not like he’s a Colquitt brother. I mean really, Kluwe got cut because he was one of the worst punters in the league. period. end of story. 32 punters in this league, it isn’t all that shocking that a guy who wasn’t performing at a high level was removed from one of those spots

  8. This is a big story turning chaotic. I live in Minnesota, so I always hear about the Vikings. Kluwe has always been vocal and, to be completely honest, annoying with how often the guy tries to make headlines. This isn’t just about his gay marriage views, but everything. He complained about when they had to play in TCF Bank Stadium. He wore a Vote for Guy patch and talked about it all week one time. I’m not saying the guy doesn’t have valid arguments, I’m saying he needs to realize everybody has opinions, they just decide to keep them to themselves and not use their press appeal as a professional athlete to bring every little thing they believe in to attention. This a serious matter, but boy, I’m tired of seeing this name in headlines.

  9. Priefer releasing a statement via PA’s show is hilarious! These two are two peas in a pod. PA is pushing for this clown to get the Head Coach job. PA is the biggest kiss butt out there! PA is about to loose his two best friends on the team. One to being dumb and irresponsible (Gizmo ErinHenderson) and the other to being dumb and clueless (Priefer). A Special Teams coach for a head coach….doah kay

  10. I like how the Viking posters now dog Kluwe when he makes disparaging remarks against the team but when he made inflammatory comments when he was playing they were his biggest supporters. Can you say hypocrite?

  11. This poor guy’s gonna get blackballed because of the militant liberal agenda. Talented football coach? Doesn’t matter, he allegedly hurt someone’s feelings!
    I am sick at what football is turning into these days.

  12. Chris Kluwe has no reason to lie about the specifics. Priefer has millions of reasons to lie about being a bigot.

    Kluwe was already recognized as an ally of gays, and his story of being let go for being a rights advocate is just as compelling without the specifics of what Priefer said.

    It’s just sad that so many NFL fans (and Americans in general) are willing to accept this seemingly endless stream of hate for gays that comes from “men” like Priefer.

  13. If there is an investigation, it’s not like it’ll turn up much in player interviews. The NFL itself is not exactly a gay friendly place. Unless Kluwe has proof I doubt these accusations will get very far.

  14. Kluwe brings this up after the season and after finding himself irrelevant. He couldn’t even make the roster in Oakland and was beat out by an undrafted free agent in Marquette King.

    The Vikings, on the other hand upgraded to Jeff Locke, arguably the best punter in the NCAA in 2012 and he didn’t disappoint. Locke’s numbers and ability to pin the ball inside the 20 was clearly an improvement over Kluwe. Can we stop listening to this nut job now?

  15. Kluwe was cut because he stinks. The Raiders cut him for the same reason. The drama queen needs to stop whining a be a man.

  16. Let me guess. This will be PFT’s first “social (aka pro-gay) story that they will harp on as much as they can?
    Just about anything to do with gay marriage or the like, you liberals who run this site just cant get enough of it. This “story” does not need multiple friggin posts. Its a non-story. He said/she said. No one was hurt. Move the hell on.

    And the guy making the accusations cant find a job, is a hypocrite, and is bitter as hell. Why the hell does he deserve any more attention? He is an OUT OF WORK PUNTER!!! Or EX Punter, I should say, who has had plenty of his own nasty comments for those who dont think like he does.

  17. Kluwe had a subpar final season by his standards. But his performance was not “cuttable” by any objective measure. The best argument that he has is that the Vikings used a 5th round pick on a replacement. Whom they were going to use, no matter what.
    Maybe the Vikes could have used that pick on, oh, I don’t know, a QUARTERBACK?

  18. Who cares if he denies it, what is he supposed to do? Of course he said what he’s accused of saying to a player he thought kept things in house. Maybe he should have gone incognito so he wouldn’t be exposed.

  19. Chris Kluwe is a wacko. It would be best if the media stops acknowledging him.

    Hope the NFL puts the squash on this fake accusation and moves on quickly.

  20. Is it safe to say Kluwe is retired yet? I don’t see another team taking a chance on this loud mouth.

    His views aside, there’s a time and place for talk like this.

  21. If your employer asks you to stop making waves, then stop making damn waves unless you can afford to support yourself WITHOUT their paychecks.

    He didn’t want to.

    Even Kluwe should be smart enough to figure this out.

  22. Seriously, we are talking about a punter now who cant find a job? All because he is bitter and throws out allegations, true or not, that really mean nothing? Whatever was said, was said behind closed doors, IF it was said it all. And IF it was said, it was obviously done in a sarcastic, joking manner. No one is seriously going to go around telling people they want to round up gays and kill them, especially to someone they know is a weirdo activist.

    No one was hurt in whatever was said or wasnt said here. But now a man’s career is ruined because this bitter loser wants his name in the headlines again. He didnt come out and say what happened the day or day after it happened. He did so now. Kluwe needs to disappear already. Go bag some groceries.

  23. I can tell I’m getting old because I can’t figure out when it became wrong or illegal to express your views even if they’re idiotic. I don’t care if you’re gay, black, plaid or even a Raiders fan. What you do isn’t my business. By the same token if you want to tell me I’ll burn in Hell because I married my cat or I like the Chiefs that should be your right. There really should be the same freedom of speech that’s afforded to an idiot like Kluwe afforded to an idiot like Priefer (if he did actually say that)

  24. Chris Kluwe, with all the drama he brings, has managed to do the impossible. I now miss Terrell Owens.

  25. I could care less about Kluwe the activist. As a punter his talent started to decline and I could care less about a below average punter. Apparently rest of league feels the same way.

  26. Karen Rodgers recently vehemently denied some reports too.. I’m guessing both guys are liars, not that there is anything wrong with that…..

  27. In the end, it’s not going to matter what Preifer says. He’ll be forced to resign regardless. When it comes to certain issues, it’s guilty before proven innocent. This is one of them. It doesn’t matter that there’s no proof that he said it. He might as well start packing now.

  28. Chris Kluwe’s 2012 stats would have put him in 24th place among punters in the league for Average, 17th place for Net punting yardage, and 31st place for punts downed inside the 20.

    Face it – when you are near the bottom of the league for the stats for your position, it’s an uphill battle to keep your job. And any rookie can do it as well and cheaper. The guy who replaced him was Jeff Locke, a rookie out of UCLA. Locke had similar stats but was better at downing his punts inside the 20.

  29. Kluwe is an unemployed kicker with an agenda. Why wasn’t he whining in 2012 when it allegedly happened.

  30. In 2012, Kluwe ranked 20th in net yards per punt, 24th in gross yards per punt, and 31st in punts inside the 20 yard line. Kluwe’s cap number in 2013 was going to be $1.45 million. Kluwe was cut for performance, pure and simple. That he wouldn’t keep his mouth shut didn’t help, but that was hardly the reason they let him go.

  31. Don’t know any better than anyone else who’s really telling the truth. But it seems a bit odd that if Kluwe feels this strongly, then why did he wait a year to come forward with these accusations? Why did he give the standard lines about “thanking the team for the opportunity” when he was cut? Something just doesn’t fit.

  32. If the Special Teams coach did say that then he was wrong but Kluwe definitely wasn’t released because of it, his performance sucked. Locke is way better . This could be just because he’s out of work.

  33. I believe Preifer’s exact quote was “Don’t believe anything that fairy says …”

  34. Kluwe can’t punt the ball that’s why he isn’t in the NFL period and regardless of his opinions he is one of the biggest pos I can ever remember he would punt 20 yds in Oakland it was embarrassing i hope he goes away he’s trash

  35. Unless someone else verifies this Kluwe will be used for every penny he has ever made. Besides that I’ll never understand why we give such prominent platforms to such a small amount of people. All people want the same thing. Money and attention. That’s it. If someone tells you otherwise they are lying.

  36. There have been several current Viking players coming to the defense of Mike Priefer arguing that he never made these comments. Given that both individuals will be out of a job within the month, I sense a defamation of character lawsuit headed Kluwe’s way.

    Hey Chris! I hope you saved some money!

  37. Blair Walsh, who has probably been around these two more than almost anyone basically just stated Kluwe is lying.

  38. Why didn’t the vocal opinionated Kluwe bring this up when it happened? While he was a Viking? Now, after he’s unemployable because of lack of talent, he protests?
    Anybody?

  39. Belichick just gave a sermon on special teams play. He didn’t talk about punting but he did talk about the hang time on kickoffs. Depth of a kick, he said, is not as important as hang time and (I suspect) that is even more applicable to punting so all of you experts debating Kluwe’s effectiveness might want to defer to the guys that really understand that aspect of the game. The one compelling fact is that he is out of the game but so was Zoltan Mesko until this week.

  40. I can understand this as an off-season story when there is nothing much to discuss, but the friggin wild-card weekend is two days away and we are discussing this WHY?

  41. Kluwe makes it clear that there were plenty of witnesses, so this won’t take long to sort out. And if what he claims happened is true, Priefer should be unemployed.

    The claim Priefer privately screaming at his employees is no different than Kluwe putting his views in public and in print — that’s not much different than the complaints that people who don’t tolerate bigotry are intolerant.

    A supervisor speaking privately to his employees (who have legit reason to fear retaliation if they object) isn’t the same thing a person owning what he’s saying and putting it in public. One is bullying your employees (and rather cowardly). The other is being a man and standing by your words.

    And this idea that players should just be quiet and perform … might as well hire robots instead of human beings if that’s how you feel.

  42. I don’t have a problem with Kluwe’s stances on issues. I have a problem with how he goes about it. Vile, profane articles destroying people’s character that he doesn’t agree with. He’s a bully with a keyboard. His NFL career is done! This is just his audition piece for Huff Post.

  43. As much as I doubt Preifer AND Kluwe, I would like to get Kevin Lanflisi’s take on this before forming an opinion.

  44. Let’s be fair now. Suppose that a former player who was vocal in their opposition to same-sex marriage, who was cut for performance reasons, suddenly came forth with accusations that his position coach was deeply in favor of same-sex marriage and said hateful things about people who disagreed with that position. The coach denies it strongly. Would you automatically assume in this case that the pro-same sex marriage coach was lying and that the player who opposed same-sex marriage was telling the truth?

  45. Just want to all about Priefer’s job as the special teams coordinator this year. Take the Cleveland game, his unit was totally fooled twice. Unprepared. His unit seemed unaware with stupid plays this season, why should he be considered for a head coaching position?

  46. So tired of this guy. He was let go by the Viking early so he would have time to sign w another team. He lost out in fair competition with Oakland. What a self important jerk.

  47. Let me get this straight. Mr. Kluwe believes being outspoken in his support for gay rights led the Vikings to release him.
    His solution? Kluwe makes it his specifically stated mission to ensure that a coach, who allegedly opposes Kluwe’s stance, should also lose his job. In addion, Kluwe states that the “bigot” coach should never get another job as a coach at any level. Through such statements, Mr. Kluwe shows himself to be vindictive, closed-minded and intolerant.

  48. Blair Walsh released a statement in support of Prieffer saying “The allegations made today are reprehensible and totally not compatible with what Mike Priefer stands for. “. He also said that Kluwe was cut because he wasn’t living up to performance expectations.

  49. Kluwe sucks! And he’s a bad punter too! Quit giving this guy a microphone. “Doesn’t hava” Kluwe should just go away.

  50. Kluwe says “It’s inexcusable that someone would use his status as a… role model to proselytize on behalf of his own doctrine of intolerance”.

    Pot meet kettle. I’m not making a commentary on what Prefer said, if he did actually say it. But I will defend his right to say it. Just because one’s views may not line up with yours, doesn’t mean you have the right to screw with one’s livelihood and try make sure they never work again. Tolerance and the right to express one’s beliefs is a two way street.

  51. This, the arrests, and the coaches firing are the biggest news for this dysfunctional team for the past 2 months. Fans must be so proud.

  52. As admirable standing up for others may be, I remain in no way surprised that Kluwe and the 37 yr old special steamer from the Ravens have blamed their unemployment on their outspoken beliefs. Typical.

  53. Kluwe has been beat out by two rookies. Locke in Minnesota and King in Oakland. Its not his views that are getting him released its his abilities. When you can hire a Rookie at half the money and with the same skill, you hire the guy for less money then they can use more money on REAL FOOTBALL players.

  54. Every man has been called that word several million times by the time they reach adulthood. its not a bigotry issue to me, its a suck it up and handle this crap like a man issue.

  55. It’s easy to hate a man who loudly challenges the comfy status quo. I’m guessing most of the people who dislike Kluwe don’t benefit from his outspoken advocacy. But the fact is, 2013 was a watershed year of progress for the gay civil rights movement, and it wouldn’t have happened if not for outspoken people like, yes, Chris Kluwe.

  56. I find it hard to believe that Kluwe just made this up. If Priefer really is the man he claims to be, he must be extremely offended and should sue Kluwe in order to clear his name.

  57. One thing Kluwe has done, in his attempt to blame Priefer for his plight, is to guarantee that Kluwe will never again land an NFL job. There have been plenty of openings this year, and he hasn’t gotten a tryout. Why? Well, what coaching staff is going to want a loose cannon like Kluwe around? So they can be accussed of cutting him for his views on gay marriage?

    Yeah, Chris, you were a distraction, and you’ve proven with your antics yesterday.

    Finally, we’re supposed to believe that a guy like Kluwe who loves being outspoken would hold his tongue over these alleged incidents instead of going straight to twitter or some other media outlet and making them public. That’s Kluwe’s biggest problem here, lack of credibility.

    If Priefer is cleared here (and I’m guessing he will be), I hope he sues Kluwe for every penny he’s got.

  58. One of the things I think has helped ruin this country is when someone makes accusations about someone else, many people automatically assume the person must be guilty. So, even if the accusations are unfounded, the accused is scarred anyway.
    Secondly, to those who automatically respond against the accused, tell me you’ve never made a disparaging remark toward someone else or told a joke which pokes fun at a nationality, etc! If you say you never have, I’d say you’re being less than truthful, as one of our former Presidents once said.
    We all have our prejudices. No one is excluded from that. Gays are very much prejudiced against people who happen to believe that doing what they do is a sin. Blacks are prejudiced against whites, and vice versa, in various but often suttle ways. I don’t care who you are — you are not prejudice free. So don’t pound your chests and rail at someone else.
    Liberals are prejudiced against conservatives, and vice versa. I could go on and on.
    But here’s the truth, as I see it. The more we make out of what someone else says, the more we all become more uneasy around one another. Is that good for society? Having to be constantly on guard that we might say something which causes someone else to react by making a mountain out of a mole hill — is that how we really want to live among each other? The old saying that sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me has a lot of truth in it.
    My favorite comedian of all time is Don Rickles. He picked on everyone, equally. He has not one ounce of malice in his body. Any anyone who has seen him knows that. He tries to make us laugh at ourselves. Today, there are comedians who say far worse things than Rickles about other people on stage, but the difference is, they re angry and mean it. The same people who crticize a guy like Don Rickles will praise those comedians, if they happen to agree with their stance, of course.
    So — maybe we all ought to just take a step back and let this thing play out without jumping to conclusions. Personally, I couldn’t care less whether this guy is gay or not, even though I don’t agree with that life style and I’m never going to allow them to force me to teach that it’s normal to my grandchildren. If anyone disagrees with me on that, too bad. You help raise your grandchildren and I’ll help raise mine. See? In spite of what those people think — that’s my right as an American. I’m not teaching them hatred toward gays, but if they ask, I will tell them it’s not a lifestyle I agree with.
    And I prefer that he and others wouldn’t use their status as an NFL player to promote their agendas. Just shut up and play football, because I couldn’t care less what they think about anything else. Judging by the way most of them fracture the English language, they aren’t very intelligent anyway. (See, I’m showing my one of my prejudices!! LOL)
    Happy New Year to all and go out and be kind to a stranger today. You’ll find there’s a lot of joy in that.

  59. Kluwe is a standard issue, garden variety liberal throwing the usual lifelong temper tantrum. Nothing to worry about.

  60. Mr. irrelevant used to be a name for the last player taken in the draft each year. I think it should be permanently assigned to Kluwe, he was irrelevant as a punter and as a former player irrelevant now.

  61. Lets make this clear for the gay community.
    Regardless of whether the special teams coach said that or not.
    Chris Kluwe was not a good punter. Also, he was a distraction to the team. If he had put football before his gay agenda. HE STILL WOULDNT BE THERE. He didnt get a job from another team in fact he got cut i think a few times.

    And if convicted dog killers, drug addicts, drunks, and wife beaters can still get jobs playing in the NFL because of their talent than so could Chris Kluwe. But he couldnt.

    There are 32 punter positions in the NFL. IN THE WORLD. And Chris just simply was not good enough to be one of them anymore.

  62. Kluwe – No other team wanted you either so maybe you can take the entire league to task for not wanting to deal with you. You are me player in a team game. A stud WR or QB can be me player and get away with a it but I might remind you that you are a kicker.

    Kluwe knows Preifer is looking an increased role with the Vikings or other team and wanted to take a jab at him to ruin his chances for job.

    Move to Russia Kluwe and see how your views are tolerated. You can still have your views in America but the NFL is private business and can do with you what they want.

  63. There are some people in life that just seem to have an insatiable need for attention. Chris Kluwe seems like one of those guys.

    His only goal in life seems to be the Paris Hilton of punting (“hey everybody look at me!!”). At this point I suspect he is more bothered by the lack of attention is he getting being out of the league than being bothered by being the out of the league itself.

    He seems like the type of guy who spends his days alternating between taking constant selfies, while continuously making melodramatic facebook updates (while checking 20 times a day to see how many responses he has received), constantly updating his blog and auditioning for his own reality show. Most people know at least one of these people in their lives… and they are incredibly irritating.

    I honestly don’t care what his view on gay marriage is but I can’t stand attention seekers.

  64. When are we going to see the story about the players who have spoken out in support of Priefer, saying that the allegations are false.

  65. I’m always leery of someone who makes allegations well after the events actually occurred. The problem with the way Chris handled this is that, unfortunately, now that it’s public, the coach will most likely have his career ruined, guilty or not. No team is going to want to deal with the PR nightmare that would come with hiring Priefer. If it is true, it should be handled by the Vikings. That’s why we have discrimination/harassment laws.
    I’m also a bit tired of people wanting someone’s life ruined because they may have said something that offended someone else. Maybe the coach is a jerk and made a comment to express his views which he has a right to just as everyone else. If you don’t like it, call him an “a-hole” and move on. Don’t associate with them. We all work with people we may think are “a-holes” and may say really stupid things on occasion. That doesn’t mean they all should be fired or never work again.

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