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Vikings say they take Chris Kluwe’s allegations seriously

Kluwe Getty Images

Hours after former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe alleged that he was subjected to homophobic language and eventually cut because he vocally supported gay marriage, the team released a statement saying the former allegation is a serious matter, but the latter allegation is totally false.

Although the Vikings say they will investigate claims that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer used homophobic language around Kluwe after Kluwe began speaking out in favor of gay rights, the team also says he was cut for football reasons, period.

“The Minnesota Vikings were made aware of Chris Kluwe’s allegations for the first time today. We take them very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, the Vikings consistently strive to create a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for all of our players, coaches and front office personnel. We do not tolerate discrimination at any level. The team has long respected our players’ and associates’ individual rights, and, as Chris specifically stated, Vikings ownership supports and promotes tolerance, including on the subject of marriage equality. Because he was identified with the Vikings, Chris was asked to be respectful while expressing his opinions. Team ownership and management also repeatedly emphasized to Chris that the Vikings would not impinge on his right to express his views.”

Kluwe believes the Vikings decided to cut him because Priefer, General Manager Rick Spielman and former head coach Leslie Frazier were uncomfortable with his gay rights activism. The Vikings say he was cut because they thought rookie Jeff Locke was better than him.

“Any notion that Chris was released from our football team due to his stance on marriage equality is entirely inaccurate and inconsistent with team policy. Chris was released strictly based on his football performance,” the statement said.

The Vikings have promised to look into Kluwe’s allegations and have further comment once they have investigated the matter.

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79 Responses to “Vikings say they take Chris Kluwe’s allegations seriously”
  1. filthymcnasty1 says: Jan 2, 2014 4:49 PM

    Becasue gross organizational incompetence isn’t enough – one scandal after another.

    Hapless.

    Tasteless.

  2. 92nick182govikings says: Jan 2, 2014 4:49 PM

    He was cut because of poor play. We paid him over a million dollars per year. We are rebuilding and jeff lockes contract is like under 500k so it was a very smart move. We loved him but had to move on.

  3. robgilman says: Jan 2, 2014 4:49 PM

    Ha, I remember when I said this guy is a attention seeking kook and everybody bashed on me.

    Again, completely agree with most of his opinions and outlook, but clearly the guy has underlying issues and some agenda that manifests itself in self serving motives.

    Shut this guy up already. He craves the spotlight and will cause an uproar over meaningless stuff to make it happen.

  4. mrplow3 says: Jan 2, 2014 4:51 PM

    Of course they make a statement like this. They are terrified that GLAAD will turn their sights on them like they did A&E if they didn’t.

    If it were pretty much any other controversial special interest topic the Vikings would ignore it. But you best not ignore this or you will suffer some serious wrath!

    Now get busy pretending you are shocked and disgusted!

  5. Punk says: Jan 2, 2014 4:51 PM

    I support Chris Kluwe.

  6. mancave001 says: Jan 2, 2014 4:52 PM

    He better hope the allegations are true, otherwise he’s going to face one heck of a defamation lawsuit. If the allegations are false, his comments were clearly malicious…designed to hurt the people in question.

  7. floratiotime says: Jan 2, 2014 4:52 PM

    They will give them careful consideration before sweeping them under the rug.

  8. rationalitybias says: Jan 2, 2014 4:53 PM

    So Kluwe, why did Oakland cut you in early September?

  9. firerogergoodell says: Jan 2, 2014 4:53 PM

    Kluwe was a great holder but a terrible punter. Not sure why he has to over analyze that and take it to such a personal level. He loves the sound of his own voice and we are just giving him exactly what he wants by talking about him.

  10. redbullenergydrink says: Jan 2, 2014 4:53 PM

    This situation is going to get really hairy!

  11. jollyjoker2 says: Jan 2, 2014 4:54 PM

    So a guy uses another persons business for personal beliefs in the media. Yep – you can work for me …and I will fire you an hour later if I let you be there that long.

  12. purpleguy says: Jan 2, 2014 4:54 PM

    He sure trashed Priefer’s career, and maybe Leslie’s. I don’t doubt for a second that Priefer said that stuff and should be punished, and I don’t doubt that Leslie wanted him to shut his yapper to avoid distraction (heck any HC would want to minimize distractions).

    However, I doubt the Viking management dumped Kluwe due to his beliefs, as evidenced by the fact that he couldn’t even make the Raiders team, his salary as a vet was high compared to his production, he’s less effective outdoors (the Vikes will be playing outdoors the next 2 years), and the Vikes did the same expensive vet to rookie thing with Longwell-to-Blair Walsh the prior year. I don’t hear Longwell crying age discrimination (well, not yet). Everyone comes off looking bad in this deal.

  13. thraiderskin says: Jan 2, 2014 4:54 PM

    If he was still good enough to stay with Minnesota, what happened in Oakland? He got beat out by a rookie and a second year guy in one off season… he depiction of his st coach in Minnesota might be true, but I doubt his opinion had anything to do with him losing his job.

  14. justanotherdummy says: Jan 2, 2014 4:54 PM

    Priefer was my squad leader during Plebe Summer at USNA. He was a good guy and I hope this is all much ado about nothing when it gets investigated.

  15. sdsmooth says: Jan 2, 2014 4:55 PM

    I wonder if circus music just runs on a loop at Winter Park.

    What a flat-out abject disaster this team has become.

  16. seanb20124 says: Jan 2, 2014 4:55 PM

    Simple rule at work, don’t discuss controversial issues.

  17. boobschannel says: Jan 2, 2014 4:57 PM

    i’d just like to point out that lockes numbers for the vikings this year are worse than kluwes numbers for the vikings last year.

    so, despite what management says about performance, they were wrong.

    the truth hurts.

  18. vikefan says: Jan 2, 2014 4:57 PM

    they should…….what a classless bunch of assez. zygi better start cleaning house real fast and start with spielman, he is lucky his own name was in good notes on that blog or the state would be in up roar today

  19. chesschum says: Jan 2, 2014 4:58 PM

    Kluwe wasn’t performing at a satisfactory level any more. Whether that was the reason for the Vikings drafting Locke will never be known, and can be interpreted either way. To Kluwe’s credit, he was gracious when the Raiders cut him, saying he would have made the same decision. To the Vikes’ credit, their statement holds water, which is not the same thing as saying it’s true.

  20. shoddymnbridgerepair says: Jan 2, 2014 5:02 PM

    I had a feeling this explosive situation was about to blow up.

  21. squared80 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:02 PM

    Look, people. There’s a reason this guy hasn’t been signed by any other team yet. And it’s NOT because of his views on anything. He was making top-punter salary for being an average to below average punter. THAT’S why he was cut, no other reason.

    This is really a pathetic article, from a guy that I liked for awhile (and yes, I agree with his veiws – no that it should matter). And to say that one of the most respected coaches in football in Leslie Frazier (respected, not good) would ignore something is ridiculous.

    Get a real job. Your 15 minutes of fame are over.

  22. darkhorse08817 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:03 PM

    He got cut b/c he’s a less than mediocre punter who kept kicking to Devin Hester – that’ll get any punter fired.

  23. truthfactory says: Jan 2, 2014 5:03 PM

    Typical liberal mentality spewing from Kluwe. “Well, I got let go from my job…. So it must be somebody else’s fault!! I’m suing!!!”

  24. kingpel says: Jan 2, 2014 5:05 PM

    Kluwe is a huge pain in the ass. Way to set your cause back 20 years, man.

  25. commonsensedude says: Jan 2, 2014 5:05 PM

    Will this guy ever go away? He seems to want to be in the spotlight no matter what. Are we sure his name isn’t Chris Kardashian?

  26. fwippel says: Jan 2, 2014 5:07 PM

    Well, Chris Kluwe has once again succeeded….in drawing attention to himself.

  27. davetrembley says: Jan 2, 2014 5:08 PM

    No I am in agreement with Kluwe.

  28. insanelomein2 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:08 PM

    This guy just loves to hear himself talk.

  29. cfballfan1 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:09 PM

    Kluwe = classic case of more balz than brains.

    Enjoy your time collecting unemployment & tilting at windmills knucklehead.

  30. jayquintana says: Jan 2, 2014 5:13 PM

    Agree with him or not, I love the fact that he speaks his mind. He’s one of the few athletes who is interesting.

  31. ricardocabeza says: Jan 2, 2014 5:17 PM

    Two NFL players openly supported gay marriage, Ayanbandejo from Baltimore and Kluwe. Neither is playing now. One cut the other quietly retired while after an active season. Yeah, that’s a coincidence……

  32. ttommytom says: Jan 2, 2014 5:17 PM

    Kluwe needed to say this to their faces. Now that he knows he is out of the NFL, it’s all easy in the rearview…

    ps

    Kind of ironic. Vikings being men subjected to very long boat trips.

  33. packerfansarefat says: Jan 2, 2014 5:17 PM

    Another example of overindulging “political correctness”. Just say this Vikings: “It was a stupid comment granted….however, being used by a bitter player looking for more attention”……next question.

  34. freepretzels says: Jan 2, 2014 5:21 PM

    Thank you Jonathan Martin. The new NFL lockerroom.

  35. dublindemonszfl says: Jan 2, 2014 5:22 PM

    As a seriously disgruntled employee who can’t find a job. That’s prepping for a lawsuit.

  36. heavywoody says: Jan 2, 2014 5:24 PM

    Gets ridiculous. You can’t say anything anymore! I wonder how long it will be before overweight americans for a group so you can no longer call someone fat because it is too offensive. Just let people talk. You can’t avoid some people are going to be offended.

  37. golfsox78 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:25 PM

    2 things are wrong with this. If what is true that the coaches said what they said that is wrong. You cannot have anyone in a managerial position making derogatory comments based on race, religion or sexual preference. However, Kluwe is completely diluted if he thinks his actual performance on the field didn’t attribute to his release.

  38. thejuddstir says: Jan 2, 2014 5:27 PM

    Funny, Kluwe never made these accusations when the Vikings cut him…..never said a word when he was trying out for Oakland and for another team (Chicago I think it was). Now that it has finally dawned on him that nobody wants to sign him and his career is over……….let’s start spewing trash. Where he came up with his stats is beyond me, I looked up stats for 2012 and 2011 and he was one of the worst in the league for net yd, distance, punts inside the 20 yd line and hangtime. His stats in 2012 might have been his best ever but compared to the league he ranked like 27th worst and he was making 1.5 mil per year. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

  39. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Jan 2, 2014 5:30 PM

    Kluwe has said some pretty vile things in print about people who don’t agree with him. Now he’s trying to ruin Priefer’s career by alleging he made some off-color remarks behind closed doors? Pretty hypocritical if you ask me.

  40. percydovetonsils says: Jan 2, 2014 5:32 PM

    I could be mistaken, but didn’t Scott Fujita, and possibly other NFLers, publicly voice support for gay rights long before Kluwe ever chimed in? Why is Kluwe (self?-)portrayed as some sort of civil rights pioneer or hero?

  41. macneil4025 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:37 PM

    Chris Kluwe just nuked any chance Priefer had of becoming a head coach!! I’m not a huge fan of Kluwe cause he was a god awful punter for the Vikes, but great to see Priefer get exposed for what he was, a god fearing bigot! Looks like his son is following in his footsteps as well, good parenting Mike!

  42. mfinsrule says: Jan 2, 2014 5:38 PM

    Here is what will happen. An independent investigation done by the league office strategically timed to be released when it will not be scrutinized as heavily. Sound familiar? ^*cough-cough^* Miami^*cough^*

  43. oldstylelover says: Jan 2, 2014 5:39 PM

    Considering that he wasn’t picked up by any other team, I’d expect that his talents were no longer worth the money a veteran of his age is due. I also don’t doubt his comments have some truth to them. Standing up for gay rights as an NFL player is a challenge that few players are capable of meeting. Kluwe’s a smart, charismatic guy as well as a best selling author, which is why journalists enjoy talking to him and contact him for interviews. I also don’t see any other way the Vikings could respond.

  44. meatcarroll says: Jan 2, 2014 5:40 PM

    This is the Pandora’s Box that Jonathan Martin opened up. By all accounts a good coach who’s going to get blackballed due to his opinion that many agree with but teams don’t want to risk the negative publicity for.

  45. iamthegreatcornflorio says: Jan 2, 2014 5:41 PM

    He doesn’t have a Kluwe. Your bosses don’t like to use their Vikings/NFL trademark a sa vehicle to promote your personal agenda.

    He know no one would care about his opinions if he were selling shoes.

  46. Dogsweat says: Jan 2, 2014 5:46 PM

    Minnesota is the Mississippi of the Upper Midwest, they just hide it cleverly.

  47. mogogo1 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:47 PM

    I’d bet there are players on the team who couldn’t pick Kluwe out of a lineup because that is how isolated and overlooked punters and kickers are on teams. Nobody cared what he was saying about anything because he was irrelevant to them.

    And I don’t care what business you’re in, when it becomes clear you can save hundreds of thousands in salary and get basically the same results, that move is going to be made.

  48. bcgreg says: Jan 2, 2014 5:53 PM

    Disgruntled ex employee who had no balls to say it while employed.

  49. rubenxx7 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:53 PM

    can we talk about the nfl playoffs instead if a less than average punter that isnt even in the nfl!!!!

  50. SilentMajority says: Jan 2, 2014 5:54 PM

    If you’re good enough, you can murder people at night, and start in the Super Bowl the next day. However, if you’re not that good you better watch what you say, otherwise you’ll get cut because you’re not worth the headache…

  51. midtec2005 says: Jan 2, 2014 5:57 PM

    I don’t get the outrage, everyone knew he got cut for this. His activism made a lot of headlines when he was doing it. The only news here is that his ST coach was apparently a huge A-hole. My only problem with the article is that it’s very vindictive. I get the activist side of it though… if I got fired for those reasons I’d probably speak up too.

  52. jerrykill4pres says: Jan 2, 2014 5:59 PM

    Well, atleast Rodgers should be happy knowing that Kluwe supports him and his right for marriage equality.

    So when are the packers going to pick him up? The whole state of Wisconsin supports kluwe.

  53. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 2, 2014 6:00 PM

    ……seriously….

  54. wisconsinhillfolk says: Jan 2, 2014 6:03 PM

    Can we all agree to stop serving the guy at the bar who called Leslie (an abject failure at his profession) one of the most respected coaches in the NFL?

  55. lanman11 says: Jan 2, 2014 6:06 PM

    More evidence that females, and those who believe they are gaining their favor by supporting them, run our society. This isn’t “hate speech” (gag me). Simply put, everyone seems obsessed with not hurting anyone’s feelings, because to do so today means a license for your social destruction is automatically issued. The destruction is carried out by “valueless” media members and outlets, and it only happens because most people have been brainwashed into thinking that this is OK. Essentially, it is the female view. You hurt someone’s feelings, they feel bad for them, and now you’re the bad guy and we’re all going to band together in an obvious but unchecked over reaction in an attempt to hurt you like you hurt poor Chrissy Kluwey.

    It’s a sad existence we’re living in now. Strength is weakness and weakness is strength. It’s a perverted system and it won’t change unless things get really really difficult, and we become unable to run a protected society where every person with hurt feelings gets a platform to turn that into a social weapon of mass destruction.

    I’m not against Chris Kluwe or gays. I’m against what our society has become. You can insert any offended group or individual and the story would be the same.

  56. gbmickey says: Jan 2, 2014 6:06 PM

    You should be happy Viking fans you are getting the attention you have been craving for. That’s 3 articles in 2 days, now maybe you will be occupied by this instead of looking like sore losers trying to rip a team that has been clearly better for years.

  57. stevent92 says: Jan 2, 2014 6:10 PM

    Something about Kluwe seems extremely pathological about his views. Enough so that he would make something like this up to defame a coach that no longer saw fit for his putrid punting.

  58. oldstylelover says: Jan 2, 2014 6:15 PM

    Here’s what Kluwe said about the column to a Star Tribune writer today. As to people complaining that this is only about hurt feelings, I hope you have gay children so you’ll understand why this issue is important. And lanman11, I hope the stench of your misogyny keeps women away so you never reproduce. If you already have, see the sentence above.
    Meanwhile, Vikings beat writer Chip Scoggins asked Kluwe a few questions today:
    Q: Why write this?
    Kluwe: For me, this is the point coaches and GMs are looking for career opportunities. I kept my silence for the entire year. I wasn’t going to bring that on the team during the year. Now that it’s pretty obvious that I’m not going to get another shot in the NFL, I feel like it’s a story that needs to be told.
    Q: You obviously put your name on it, but just checking, you stand by everything you wrote?
    Kluwe: Yep. It was all accurate. I have witnesses. I prefer not to call any witnesses unless it’s legally needed because those are my friends and teammates and I’d like to keep them out of it.
    Q: Are you worried about fallout from this?
    Kluwe: No, not really. It’s one of those things where this is what happened. I realize there will be people that say, ‘This is just sour grapes. He’s upset that he got cut.’”
    Kluwe mentions that he’s going to write a memoirs from his career some day ….
    Kluwe: I’m going to write my football memoirs at some point and this will be part of it. A lot of it will be just looking at, this is the NFL, a billion dollar industry. There’s things that happen in this bubble of unreality that you would never believe happen. It just doesn’t make sense. But they happen.
    Q: The part about Zygi approaching you to offer support was interesting.
    Kluwe: That’s my thing. I’m wondering if possibly Frazier thought that maybe I had gone over his head to go talk to the owner. But that was completely out of the blue. I was just warming up before the game and Zygi came up and talked to me and said that. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s awesome.’”

  59. ace8842 says: Jan 2, 2014 6:20 PM

    Do Christians sue every time someone makes fun of their religion? (Trust me, it happens a lot). Did Adulterers come after Phil Robertson even though he singled them out along with other sins? No. But I hate what this country has become, where women are controlling the agenda. Hate crimes laws become hate speech laws, attacking freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Every time someone says anything about gays, they become drama queens and there is a lawsuit. GLAAD is sickening and out of control. There is no excuse for the comments made against the player supporting for gay marriage but shame on him for trying to act like that was why he lost his job. Toughen up people.

  60. shaggytoodle says: Jan 2, 2014 6:26 PM

    I understand he is trying to use this, as a pulpit for him to preach from.

    It doesn’t work out, because when your an employee you need to leave that stuff at home. Then people need to answer questions about things that have no reason to even be asked.

    Aaron Rodgers said it best.
    Business is business. Personal is Personal.

  61. theravenlives2 says: Jan 2, 2014 6:32 PM

    “Hi. My name is Chris Kluwe, and I am professionally offended…”

  62. bobnelsonjr says: Jan 2, 2014 6:41 PM

    This is a bad approach by the vikings franchise. It only encourages more outrageous accusations.

    The vikings should take a more positive environmental approach and oppose crimes against nature.

  63. infectorman says: Jan 2, 2014 6:43 PM

    PC Police are multiplying.
    And Idiots that feed them material aren’t hard to find.

    In the testosterone filled NFL where men are men and new-age politically correct men are smarting about everything and anything, it’s not at all surprising this situation has arisen.

    That said, Kluwe hasn’t a leg to stand on, witnesses or no witnesses, he ain’t gonna win a lawsuit, because he was cut cut he sucked

  64. whatjusthapped says: Jan 2, 2014 6:47 PM

    Kluwe is your typical Viking, poor performance followed by creative excuse making and an absolute refusal to accept any personal responsibility.

    If he were booming 55 yard punts with 4.9 seconds of hang time, he could espouse any point of view he wanted. But when he fell to the bottom 20% of the punters in the league at a salary over a million, even the Vikings, not the smartest front office in the NFL (see Josh Freeman), decided to reallocate some of the money to pay for underperforming WR’s.

  65. thegreatjimmyk says: Jan 2, 2014 6:53 PM

    I hope another player on the Vikes corroborates what Kluwe is saying, because I believe Chris. If no one else comes forward, then his view will simply be seen as sour grapes. And if that’s the case, then so be it. But I still think the circumstances point towards Kluwe having a valid point.

  66. billbrasky72 says: Jan 2, 2014 7:06 PM

    Chris who?…..

  67. lucimorland says: Jan 2, 2014 7:11 PM

    All this talk about how Kluwe would still have a job if only he punted better should call Kerry Rhodes and ask how that worked out for him.

  68. lerch77 says: Jan 2, 2014 7:20 PM

    Esera Tuaolo demands an explanation!

  69. mediasloppy says: Jan 2, 2014 7:26 PM

    Kluwe trained the rookie punter in at Oakland before he was let go. The kicker will even tell you this. Kluwe even admitted it hurt his chances to be the kicker. You eventually get old in football and someone can get paid half as much to do your job. Nature of the beast.

  70. jollyjoker2 says: Jan 2, 2014 7:34 PM

    The only point Klue has is whether dollars $$$ can be redistributed his way. The Vikes should just go to the media even and start LOL.

  71. natelan69 says: Jan 2, 2014 7:55 PM

    EVERYBODY DO A SEARCH FOR MIKE PRIEFER JR. SOMEONE JUST LEAKED HUNDREDS OF PICTURES FROM HIS SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITES WHERE HE USES GAY SLURS REPEATEDLY…

    I GUESS THE APPLE DOESN’T FALL FAR FROM THAT TREE.

    ALSO… REMEMBER…

    PEOPLE FEAR MOST IN OTHERS, THAT WHICH THEY FEAR MOST IN THEMSELVES!

  72. hotlantalaw says: Jan 2, 2014 8:33 PM

    He was a mediocre punter and now he will never be in the nfl

  73. listentopopevince says: Jan 2, 2014 10:30 PM

    Vikings agree to take punter seriously. However, taking football seriously will be decided at a later date.

  74. largent80 says: Jan 2, 2014 10:41 PM

    If this is about money – Kluwe’s cap hit being too high and needing to save some $$$ – then why not go to him in the offseason and ask if he’d be willing to restructure? That didn’t happen.

    If this is about performance, his 2012 numbers (average of 45.0 yards per punt, gross) were above his career average (44.4). And Kluwe points out that the Priefer asked him to sacrifice distance in search of better hang time.

    They draft a punter in the 5th rd, whose numbers (44.2 yards per punt) are marginally worse than Kluwe’s were in 2012. No effort is made to re-sign him.

    As far as Oakland goes, I’m not surprised he didn’t land there or anywhere. It’s a small set of 32 teams, and people don’t like distractions.

    Kluwe may go out of his way to use his association with the NFL to trumpet causes he believes in, but it doesn’t mean that he’s wrong about this.

  75. wunsasaint says: Jan 3, 2014 1:18 AM

    Vikes better take it seriously…PC Police are watching

  76. neilpountney says: Jan 3, 2014 7:47 AM

    How can you deny any allegations and then turn around and say you will be investigating them. You either know there have been or you know there have not been how else can you deny anything!!!!

  77. kingknute says: Jan 3, 2014 7:55 AM

    Kluwless didn’t have time for the NFL job anyway and it showed in his performance. They did him him a favor by cutting him leaving him more time to spout gibberish about things he believes and play bass guitar in his mom’s basement.

  78. sinkit5 says: Jan 3, 2014 7:57 AM

    Coach, if things were said its best to admit you were un sensitive if not than please sue this punter for defamation, nobody is allowed to sling accusations and never should be allowed to coach at any level comments around. this is your profession!! protect it and your self

  79. bigjdve says: Jan 3, 2014 4:26 PM

    Something people need to think about.

    I keep hearing that people can’t say this or that, especially managers. That is ridiculous, they can say whatever they want. What they CAN’T do is treat you differently because of gender, race, orientation.

    Personally, I would rather have the person say the ignorant things, so that I know what they are thinking and decide how I would like to deal with them based on that.

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