If you missed the Friday night skirmish between the Vikings and former punter Chris Kluwe, you’re in luck. Or perhaps not in luck.
The fight will continue during the current work week, with Kluwe filing a lawsuit in Minnesota state court. Lawyer Clayton Halunen tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the suit will be filed in Hennepin County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
According to Halunen, Kluwe will seek damages for wrongful discharge and defamation of character. Kluwe has said that all money awarded by a jury will be awarded to LGBT groups. (That may or may not apply to Halunen’s fee — especially if he took the case on a 33-percent contingency.)
While the basis for a claim of defamation isn’t apparent at this point, the wrongful discharge claim will arise from allegations that the Vikings cut Kluwe because of his advocacy for gay rights. A 29-page memo analyzing an independent investigation regarding Kluwe’s allegations concludes that he was fired at least in part for the distraction caused by his advocacy, a very fine line that, when coupled with the contents of hundreds of pages of raw materials generated by the investigation, could make it easier for Kluwe to prevail.
At a minimum, the hair-splitting defense to the decision to fire Kluwe opens the door for a Seinfeld-trial parade of evidence of all the distractions players and coaches have created over the years (Love Boat, anyone?) without being fired.