For months, former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (a friend of PFT) has made public remarks, claims, and contentions about the circumstances surrounding his release and the work atmosphere in Minnesota. The Vikings have largely remained silent, until now.
In a memorandum analyzing Kluwe’s allegations, released Friday night by the Vikings, Donald Prophete of the Littler Mendelson law firm specifically points out workplace conduct by Kluwe that would potentially undermine the notion that he was offended by homophobic comments from special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
For example, the report notes that Vikings kicker Blair Walsh described Kluwe as someone who “loves the attention,” “was focused on everything but football,” and wanted to be in the spotlight. Far more relevant to the substance of Kluwe’s complaint was the conclusion in the report that Kluwe made light of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.
“Kluwe also made fun of the Vikings’ then Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Kanavy, an alumnus of‒and former coach at‒Penn State University, concerning the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State situation,” the memo states. “In his interview, Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a ‘Penn State victim’ and to ‘stay away’ from him while his buttocks were exposed.
Kluwe told investigators that he did not recall that behavior, but that “it’s very possible” that he did it.
“It didn’t stick in my mind, but, you know, I — it is definitely — if people said they saw it, then yeah, I probably did it,” Kluwe said.
This information arguably is relevant to whether Kluwe was truly offended by homophobic comments from Priefer. As a practical matter, it lets Kluwe know that, if he sues, the Vikings will attack him as zealously as he attacks them.
We’ll have more throughout the evening as the 29-page memo is fully digested.