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Priefer initially denied making homophobic remarks

mikepriefer AP

The Vikings have taken the late Friday afternoon bad-news dump to the next level, releasing well after the close of business in most American time zones a statement summarizing the investigation and actions to be taken regarding former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations against the team. Also released was a 29-page memo from an outside law firm analyzing the results of the investigation.

By Monday morning, most of the steam coming from the report and memo will have dissipated. Until then, most media outlets won’t have the resources in place to give the materials the full and complete review and examination they deserve.

While portions of the 29-page memo help the Vikings’ position both in the court of public opinion and in a court of law, the Vikings also have conceded that Kluwe’s claims regarding homophobic remarks from special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer were in part accurate. And the 29-page memo reveals that Priefer gave two different versions to investigators regarding one of the most inflammatory remarks attributed to him.

Among other things, Kluwe contends that Priefer said in November 2012, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.” In his first interview with investigators on January 6, 2014, Priefer “categorically denied” making the statement.

After long snapper Cullen Loeffler told investigators that he recalled Priefer making that remark on the practice field at the team’s facility, Priefer told investigators, “If [Loeffler] remembers me saying something on the practice field, I am not going to disagree with it.” But Priefer insisted the comment was a “joke between three people, three men.”

Setting aside for now the search for a punchline in the sentiment that all gay men should be exiled to an island that is then detonated with a thermonuclear device, the Vikings have opted to give Priefer a pass on potential wrongdoing independent of the things he may have said in Kluwe’s presence. Some employers regard dishonesty in the context of an official investigation as grounds for immediate termination, and the facts as summarized in the memo support a finding that Priefer initially failed to tell the truth when under the impression that, as to the “nuke” remark, it was his word against Kluwe’s.

Given that the arguable falsehood was told while Priefer’s ongoing employment was in jeopardy following the firing of head coach Leslie Frazier and the uncertainty regarding his successor, it’s fair to wonder whether Priefer would have been retained by Mike Zimmer if Priefer had told the truth in January, instead of in May.

It’s also fair to wonder whether Priefer will be one-and-done under Zimmer, especially if Zimmer knows that he wouldn’t have kept Priefer if Priefer had admitted making comments about “nuking” the gays.

It’s even more fair to wonder why the memo fails to address whether Preifer denied or admitted making multiple other homophobic remarks in Kluwe’s presence, including that Kluwe will “burn in hell with the gays” and contending that two men kissing is “disgusting” and “just gross.” Did Priefer “categorically deny” making those remarks? Did he regard them as jokes?

Thus, while plenty of answers have been revealed by the Vikings, new questions have emerged — and there’s a decent chance that coe January 2015 the Vikings will have a new special-teams coordinator.

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61 Responses to “Priefer initially denied making homophobic remarks”
  1. orivar says: Jul 18, 2014 9:29 PM

    We make jokes like that all the time but my friends and I aren’t attempting to please anybody to begin with. A lot of our “jokes” could be seen as insensitive but we’re not going to back down from it.

    My point in posting that is that it could’ve been a joke, it’s completely possible that it is though could also be how he feels. Either way the evidence thus far is that he lied about not saying it, pretty interesting.

  2. skinsfantom says: Jul 18, 2014 9:34 PM

    free speech anyone?

  3. lurch61 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:39 PM

    I am still not sure why a man that find the sight of two men kissing “disgusting” is not free to express that without employment repercussions. It is his opinion and does not deny the subject person(s) from doing their job. This country is getting wayyy too “PC”

  4. finswins says: Jul 18, 2014 9:40 PM

    PLEASE….let some real football news start coming along. Imagine that!!!!! Someone on a team full of men pro athletes, made an inflammatory comment about gay men. I’ll bet that never happens!! Or ever has!!!!

  5. wags2199 says: Jul 18, 2014 9:43 PM

    I don’t get how people can keep defending the Vikings. The team has been overrun with idiots from top to bottom for many years. They lead the league in player arrests since 2000. They have had a coach selling Super Bowl tickets, the Love Boat, a player caught with a wizzinator to name a few of the lowlights. I’m a fan of the team and I’m not sure why.

  6. vikingsfan4life says: Jul 18, 2014 9:44 PM

    And Priefer was suspended for it. Care to run a story on Kluwe dropping his pants in front of 20-25 of the Vikings’ guests? Think anyone reading this would get fired if they did that at work? Laughable.

  7. hawkforlife says: Jul 18, 2014 9:50 PM

    Until then, most media outlets won’t have the resources in place to give the materials the full and complete review and examination they deserve.

    You’re kidding right? Since when were the hordes of media hacks lacking time to blow things out of proportion.

  8. blackandbluedivision says: Jul 18, 2014 9:51 PM

    And cue the Skol Trolls. How great is your org now?

  9. themeccalambeaufield says: Jul 18, 2014 9:51 PM

    Well well well the bigot is coming clean sort of (being forced) I wonder what all the righteous queen posters have to say now?

  10. revelation123 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:06 PM

    Scandal in non-titletown.

  11. Packernet says: Jul 18, 2014 10:14 PM

    Viking fan. We’re listening.

  12. ariani1985 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:23 PM

    Well it’s in the bible.

  13. glennsyank13 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:40 PM

    When someone lies about one thing and then admits it, they probably are lying about a whole bunch of other things as well. Just cut this coach loose already Vikings.

  14. bigjim50010 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:57 PM

    Vikings initially denied being the basement dwellers of the NFC North

  15. bullpuppy552 says: Jul 18, 2014 10:58 PM

    Open mouth, insert foot.

  16. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jul 18, 2014 11:16 PM

    It’s almost like he’s lying.

  17. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Jul 18, 2014 11:24 PM

    Not surprising at all. The Vikings have been a train wreck of an organization for years when it comes to scandal and PR because of their iencompetent executives.

  18. dvnelson72 says: Jul 18, 2014 11:27 PM

    I think it is worth pointing out that kluwe backtracked in exactly the same manner, according to this site, about penn state child abuse.

    Further, if someone asks me “did you say something that will get you fired?” My answer is no.

  19. themagicalrighttestical says: Jul 18, 2014 11:29 PM

    Kluwe whether he intended to or not has permanetly outed himself from the male circle of trust. Sure they may provide lip service while he is around but don’t expect anyone, unless that anyone is gay or falling off of the left wing to open up to him or treat him as one of the guys.

    There is something special about a man to man or a group of men shooting the bull between themselves. But it is an unspoken rule that “what is said in the circle stays in the circle” (heck that is what separates men from women) and he has broken that rule in a very public setting. I wonder if in 20 years from now he will still feel justified doing this after having to encounter people everyday that either don’t want to be around him or walk on eggshells any time they have a convo with him, as not to have thier private views that may not be politically correct be blabbed to anyone that will listen and have that person unfairly judged going forward.

    Not defending the special teams coach but Kluwe is a real slimeball for spewing private conversations and making someone’s opinion which he/she is 100% entitled legally to have (but again may not be PC) all over the media and ruining this guys reputation.

  20. REDSKINSFOREVER says: Jul 18, 2014 11:31 PM

    You know what else will get you fired at work? Mocking kids that were molested, cutting a hole in your pants and showing off your anus.

    Kluwe is a disgusting human!!!

  21. theravenmaniac says: Jul 18, 2014 11:32 PM

    Good old boys club, not unlike any corporation in America.

  22. ajd4 says: Jul 18, 2014 11:32 PM

    There was a kid in my 4th grade recess that used to talk like Priefer almost word for word. I guess I know what type of setting to visualize when I think of a Vikings practice now.

  23. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 18, 2014 11:35 PM

    Does Priefer have a nuclear weapon or the ability to exile all gays to an island? It was just stupid talk and no reason to lose a career over. Real abuses of power are happening in Washington by the President, but if does not involve gays the left-wing media ignore it or make excuses.

    This “scandal” is a non-issue. Move on.

  24. restorativejusticeprogram says: Jul 18, 2014 11:38 PM

    By the way, why can’t Priefer have the opinion that two men kissing is “disgusting” and “gross”? Are Americans no longer allowed to have views that the left disagrees with. I would bet that 80 percent of the readers of PFT would view the sight of two men kissing passionately in front of them as “gross.”

  25. ravensgrl says: Jul 18, 2014 11:40 PM

    29-page memo???

  26. taintedsaints2009 says: Jul 18, 2014 11:49 PM

    The Vikings conditioning coach who had penn state comments aimed at him isn’t suing the team…then why is kluwe suing for a gay comment? According to kluwe, oh I was just joking! Guess what kluwe, that’s exactly what preifer is saying!

    To me, this seals the deal. Kluwe thinks he can sue for an offensive comment, but when he makes offensive comments, it’s just a joke…what a hypocrite.

  27. Bo Darville says: Jul 18, 2014 11:51 PM

    I believe he said this stuff to get Kluwe worked up. It worked.

  28. pkrlvr says: Jul 19, 2014 12:21 AM

    Gotta love religious people….

  29. stevent92 says: Jul 19, 2014 12:36 AM

    Seriously? Are the thought and word police going to monitor what everyone says now?

    THIS IS where the uber-PC/hyper-liberals lose. Sure, they get their little victory in Preifer getting suspended, and forcing him to go to re-education camp, and their piddly $100k donation to “causes.”

    But in the end, the majority looks at loudmouths like Kluwe, et al as sore-losing, whining, PC bullies that throw a hissy fit if they are “offended.”

    A guy who made $millions$ kicking a ball, but is suing for $millions$ more. And he will tell you that he ia looking out for the little guy.

    Kluwe is looking out for Kluwe. They all are like that. Every man for himself.

  30. stevent92 says: Jul 19, 2014 12:40 AM

    Replace “gays” with “Republicans” or “Christians” in those jokes and Kluwe is tweeting those comments to his followers.

    Selective outrage.

  31. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 19, 2014 12:48 AM

    Let those who are without sin cast the first stone.

  32. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 19, 2014 12:50 AM

    I guess if we’re to believe that Kluwe couldn’t remember cutting a hole in his pants, exposing his buttocks, so he could make light of child abuse, it isn’t that hard to believe that Priefer didn’t remember a comment he made.

  33. skolvikes says: Jul 19, 2014 1:12 AM

    What a sad world we live in today.

    Arrest everyone that disagrees! Help mom! He doesn’t believe what I believe!

    Replace mom with Government I guess… sigh

  34. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 19, 2014 1:19 AM

    Just a thought, but maybe Kluwe should be thanking Priefer for his service to his country, protecting Kluwe’s right to speak up for whatever cause he wants to promote, rather than suing him.

  35. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 19, 2014 1:20 AM

    News flash: A lot of people think two men kissing is disgusting. People can’t express that opinion without being sued?

  36. wafflestomp says: Jul 19, 2014 3:00 AM

    What’s that I hear?
    Circus music?

    skoLOL!

  37. nyneal says: Jul 19, 2014 3:43 AM

    We better be very careful in this country about going too far in our political correctness. There isn’t anyone who hasn’t said something which could be taken as offensive by some individual or group with an agenda. Anyone who says they haven’t is lying, in my view.
    We are heading toward a time when free speech — a cornerstone of democracy — will be a long forgotten ideal.
    I love to tell jokes. And I love to hear jokes. Often, they could be considered crossing the line because of their content. But they’re jokes intended to make people laugh, and I am smart enough to know there is a time and a place for everything.
    I would never tell a joke intending to offend anyone. But my feeling is if we can’t laugh at ourselves, we are in deep trouble. And from what I see, we are heading down that path.
    I think Don Rickles was one of the funniest people ever. He made fun of everyone, including himself.
    If people who saw him do his act found him offensive, I feel sorry for them. Because they clearly just don’t get what he was about, which was breaking down the walls between us.
    I think that is something we all better figure out how to do before it’s too late.

  38. 34defense2014 says: Jul 19, 2014 4:47 AM

    stellarperformance THANK YOU!! Well said ! Don’t worry, 20, 30 years from now. There won’t be a Right wing!!!!

  39. jimmysee says: Jul 19, 2014 5:24 AM

    stevent92 says:
    Jul 19, 2014 12:40 AM

    Replace “gays” with “Republicans” or “Christians” in those jokes and Kluwe is tweeting those comments to his followers.

    Selective outrage.

    ————————————————————

    Read your history, pal. Certain groups in this country are protected from such treatment because of past experience — like women, ethnic minorities, disabled, gays. Republicans and so-called “Christians” are the ones who have tended to be doing the mistreatment and discrimination.

  40. 34defense2014 says: Jul 19, 2014 5:26 AM

    Because of my place employment with the DOH. Also concede ring that my co-workers are 99% Women. If I were to say something extremely Vulgar to and or about Women. Not that I would or ever have! Because in my opinion that is totally unacceptable and has absolutely no place in the work force! In doing so also would be doing a terrible disservice to the hard working Gay and Straight Women I work with. I would be,suspended with pay until a hearing date where determined. Then followed up by my immediate dismissal!!! Soooo why does this guy still have a job???!!!!!!!!!!

  41. purplove1 says: Jul 19, 2014 8:03 AM

    For those who are throwing around the right to fee speech. That only applies to the government, not a private organization such as the Vikings. The amendment prevents the government from coming down on citizens.it does not prevent people being firestorm their jobs for saying something idiotic.

  42. rhodesclosed29 says: Jul 19, 2014 8:27 AM

    everyone trying to slam a coach, yet I betcha those same people, make “gay” slurs everyday. weather you’re a coach or not, doesn’t matter. if you use gay remarks, no matter you’re job title, then who are you to try and make comments about the vikes or a coach, isn’t that kinda…yaknow hypocritical?

    plus, isn’t what kluwe did, a little bit more disturbing. I love how kluwe acts insulted or
    pissed off that the vikes let the cat out of the bag on his actions in meetings. I just wish the WOW dork would disappear, and let us enjoy football and not worry about the vikes “supporting” his so called beliefs.

    he wants to support gay marriage, but mock child molestation…what a great guy.

  43. Robert Chandler says: Jul 19, 2014 8:34 AM

    I do happen to be a Vikings fan. However, I look at these issues objectively as possible. In my opinion, the Vikings made some good decisions as well as some poor decisions. The first thing they should have done when Kluwe brought his contentions to light, was to announce they ere involving the owners directly in conducting an internal investigation. They should have said they would be interviewing all full-time personnel and all players to get to the truth.

    If, in doing so, they felt Priefer was guilty of some ‘serious’ insensitivity, they could have required him to apologize and undergo sensitivity counseling during the winter months. They may also have unearthed some others on staff who would have benefited from similar counseling. Apologize to the public for not recognizing the dubious judgement and behavior, fix it as best they could, and then move forward. Retaining any of these individuals would then have not raised many eyebrows, because they would have been scolded, counseled and warned to never use those type of comments in the future. It all seems simple enough to me, but the team (and MANY other teams I imagine) failed to take the wisest route.

  44. bobnelsonjr says: Jul 19, 2014 8:49 AM

    So he didn’t lie until he remembered that he lied to investigators.

    He wasn’t going to get suspended until the vikings realized their botched cover up wouldn’t work. So the vikings who defended him now suspended him.

    They could have avoided this whole scandal with a settlement and confidentiality agreement but the vikings refused. The vikings chose to go through this scandal.

    The next truths to emerge from within viking botched cover up should be more interesting.

    When it comes to public relations, the vikings couldn’t spin a cheerio.

  45. v2787 says: Jul 19, 2014 8:57 AM

    Here’s a lesson for all of us: when you’re at work and/or out on the job, watch your mouth. There are laws in place about this stuff, so saying the wrong and/or stupid thing can get you in trouble. That applies to anyone, anywhere. Get used to it, learn from it, and apply the premise anytime you’re in the workplace–or like, Priefer, pay the consequences. Once again, watch your mouth when you’re at work. If everyone did that, we’d have a lot fewer problems.

  46. ausernamethatisavailable says: Jul 19, 2014 9:04 AM

    In this hyper sensitive world you can’t make the comment about nuking all the gays. However most guys would agree that guys kissing guys is gross. I am all for the gays marrying each other. Let them do what makes them happy. That does not mean I don’t think it is gross. They probably think guys kissing girls is gross.

  47. tigerlilac says: Jul 19, 2014 9:19 AM

    The mass of fans, either bigoted themselves or not wanting to see the NFL tarnished, prefer to see Kluwe pilloried. You might not like Kluwe or his message but we need individuals that are willing to stand and tell the truth even with the job on the line. Very few individuals display such courage.

  48. jimd571 says: Jul 19, 2014 9:20 AM

    Maybe most guys over forty think two guys kissing is “gross”, but the younger generations certainly don’t. Time marches on. Desegregation was once considered too “pc”. A lol of guys over the age of 70 have a lot of prejudice, doesn’t make it ok to say things that are offensive to particular groups at work.

  49. themeccalambeaufield says: Jul 19, 2014 9:39 AM

    Can someone say schism? Hey tiny hands earlier yesterday you were certain Kluwe had no case and low and behold coach is suspended. You are not having a good week.

  50. malgorthewarrior says: Jul 19, 2014 9:42 AM

    Can’t say I’m surprised at all the people on here who clearly don’t like gays. It’s not harmless talk, it creates a hostile work environment and fosters discrimination against gays- some of which are inevitably in every nfl locker room.

    Yeah you have a right to talk like a bigot, but not in a work environment. You also can’t say something racist or sexist. Tired of all this “bond between men” crap. You want to demonize someone for exposing discrimination and bigotry in the work place? God I hope you don’t raise any children.

  51. pack15forever says: Jul 19, 2014 9:44 AM

    I’m a Packer fan but I will not pile on the Vikings in this case just because they are the Vikings. If any of you watched the ESPY’s you saw what a big deal ESPN made of Michael Sam coming out and saying he was gay by awarding him the Arthur Ashe award for courage. There is an ongoing campaign to make us accept that gay behavior is as normal as heterosexual behavior and that extends to the NFL. In this case we have a coach being accused of making a remark about gays which has been going on in locker rooms since the beginning of time and the media wants to crucify him because it conflicts with the overall agenda. The coach has no right to free speech and is condemn.

  52. stevent92 says: Jul 19, 2014 10:34 AM

    jimmysee says:
    Jul 19, 2014 5:24 AM.

    ————————————————————

    Read your history, pal. Certain groups in this country are protected from such treatment because of past experience — like women, ethnic minorities, disabled, gays. Republicans and so-called “Christians” are the ones who have tended to be doing the mistreatment and discrimination.
    _______________________________________________

    Thank you for proving my point. As long as it is a group YOU personally hate, joking about killing them is just fine.

    History Quiz: Which political party started & propogated the KKK for over 100 years?

  53. malgorthewarrior says: Jul 19, 2014 11:01 AM

    You know who wouldn’t tolerate that kind of locker room behavior? Jesus.

    What was it that got him killed? Oh yeah, he was a whistleblower (he cast the money-changers out of the temple). he also stood up for prostitutes, the disabled, and pretty much every other group that was discriminated against by society.

    I see that christians have really taken those teachings to heart.

  54. tokyofilthblaster says: Jul 19, 2014 11:02 AM

    If any of you Viking fans would now like to become Packer fans, we’d understand.

  55. sonofad says: Jul 19, 2014 11:28 AM

    Hapless enough yet?

    Tasteless enough yet?

  56. cags777 says: Jul 19, 2014 11:44 AM

    tokyofilthblaster says: Jul 19, 2014 11:02 AM

    If any of you Viking fans would now like to become Packer fans, we’d understand.
    ———————————————————————————-
    And feel entitled to everything in life? No, we’d rather work for it, fight for it, take a few hits along the way without any receiving assistance from the NFL for questionable catches, touchdowns and non-pass interference calls.

  57. sonofad says: Jul 19, 2014 12:02 PM

    The MN Vikings.

    Summer comedy leads to fall comedy.

  58. rhodesclosed29 says: Jul 19, 2014 12:25 PM

    Vikes will shock the nfc north..

  59. 34defense2014 says: Jul 19, 2014 3:39 PM

    Robert Chandler::::: very we’ll said my man!! You’re a class act all they way! Keep it up! This Country is a great place because of peeps like you!!

  60. Aaron Rodgers has Tiny Hands says: Jul 19, 2014 6:28 PM

    Hey, mecca, Kluwe doesn’t have a case. There’s no way he wins a lawsuit. He’s just trying to get as much publicity as he can.

  61. rusheagle1970 says: Jul 19, 2014 8:22 PM

    Quote: “Setting aside for now the search for a punchline in the sentiment that all gay men should be exiled to an island that is then detonated with a thermonuclear device…”

    You can’t detonate an island. However, you could destroy an island by detonating a thermonuclear device.

    Just thought I would join the ‘word’ and ‘thought’ police.

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