Vikings investigators will allow Kluwe to name witnesses anonymously

Getty Images

The explosive allegations of homophobic statements from Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer and discriminatory intent against punter Chris Kluwe for his gay-rights activism have taken a back seat to the NFL’s postseason drama, but the situation in Minnesota will be heating up, eventually.

Via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the investigators hired by the Vikings will meet with him on Friday, January 24.  And the investigators have agreed to allow Kluwe to identify witnesses to the comments from Priefer without naming names.

It makes sense for Kluwe to want to protect his friends and former teammates, given his concern that anything they say can and will be used against them.  That speaks to a deeper level of mistrust that Kluwe has regarding the organization.

Kluwe explained to PFT via text message last week that he chose not to complain within the Vikings organization after hearing Priefer’s alleged comments because he “didn’t trust anyone.”

“I’ve seen how this stuff gets handled in the NFL,” Kluwe said.  “Jonathan Martin is a good example.”

Still, it’ll be a lot harder to corroborate Kluwe’s allegations if the investigators don’t know who the witnesses are, since it will make it impossible for the investigators to know which players to interview.  The best approach may be to interview all players who were on the roster when the comments allegedly were made, allowing each player to decide on his own whether to tell the truth and assume the risk of retaliation.

87 responses to “Vikings investigators will allow Kluwe to name witnesses anonymously

  1. Jonathan Martin is a good example of what exactly? We still don’t know exactly what went on in Miami (mostly because the coward Martin refuses to say anything…which is probably due in part to the money he’s going to steal in his future law-suit).

    Also, how in the heck do you name witnesses anonymously?

    Am I the only one who thinks that this is insane?

  2. This dude is a weirdo, an attention hound and a troublemaker. No way I would want him on my team.

    Oh yeah he’s not that great of a punter either.

  3. The Johnathan Martin situation however is pretty iffy though when you look at the connections and rest of puzzle pieces. You don’t just keep interacting with somebody AND vote for them if you don’t like them, also his family are all lawyers, etc. etc.

    Though if it’s true I do understand the lack of trust as the Vikings are an organization and from what I’ve learned just from dealing with inner city politics, people look out for their people no matter right or wrong. We will see how this plays out.

  4. Maybe he’ll “identify witnesses without naming names” by doing it $20,000 pyramid style. He’ll say something like, “this guy is a kicker, he wears #3, he made the Pro Bowl his rookie year, he already said my allegations are reprehensible…”

  5. Unless no one likes the coordinator or everyone on the team has the same gay loving opinion as Kluwe, I doubt anything will happen. Pretty sure no one wants to involve themselves with Kluwe’s agenda.

  6. Kluwe is setting this up so that he can’t be wrong. If nobody corroborates his story, he can just claim that the “witnesses” feared the same kind of retaliation he allegedly experienced.

    The key guy in this is Blair Walsh. Based on how Kluwe described the incident, we know Walsh would have been in the room. Walsh is a young All-Pro kicker and there’s no way he’s going to get cut no matter what he says about this. He can tell the truth without fear of retaliation, especially since Priefer is unlikely to be retained by the new coach, either because he’ll have his own special teams guy or because he won’t want the headache associated with the allegations. If Walsh says it didn’t happen, then it didn’t happen. And he already said he didn’t hear it.

  7. bluntsmokinskinsfan says: Jan 10, 2014 6:41 PM

    Unless no one likes the coordinator or everyone on the team has the same gay loving opinion as Kluwe, I doubt anything will happen. Pretty sure no one wants to involve themselves with Kluwe’s agenda.


    What agenda?

  8. The longer this goes on, the more and more suspicious it becomes. While I and others may have questioned whether Leslie Frazier was a quality head coach, I’d never heard anyone say anything detrimental about his character. In fact, he has always been praised as one of the most upstanding and classiest guys in the NFL from all corners, many making comparisons to Tony Dungy. Kluwe is the only one I’ve ever heard disparage Frazier and publicly call him a “coward.” We have Vikings players who have refuted Kluwe and now we have him coming back with “anonymous” witnesses. It’s sounding more and more like “Kluwe vs The World.” I hope Priefer sues him into oblivion after the dust clears.

  9. This is the Vikings organization we’re talking about. You know it will only go bad, anonymously. Ponder that!

  10. “There is no need for anonymity… you can trust the NFL with the names of all witnesses”

    – Joseph Stalin

  11. This is outrageous. This man just nuked a former coach, and now investigators are unable to corroborate his accusations because the so-called witnesses are anonymous?

    How is that in any way fair? If Kluwe was in any way interested in protecting his fellow players he should have asked for permission to use their names before he went on his self serving rant. And if they said no, he should have kept it as ‘he said, i heard’.

    Now, everyone becomes suspect, and who knows if the truth will ever emerge, but one man certainly has had his rep dragged through the mud by a shoot from the lip, look at me, ‘its ok if i am rude an offensive because i am fighting against those folks i consider rude and offensive’, self aggrandizing jerk.

    Even if Kluwe is correct, his methods have not earned him any sympathy, nor does he deserve a job. The NFL owes him nothing. He is a fading punter for goodness sake.

  12. Seems obvious to me. Kluwe will name his alleged witnesses to the internal investigators without fear that those named will be brought to the Vikings attention.

    I still feel that nothing will be found, and Kluwe will keep saying what ever he bloody well pleases, no matter whose career he tries to destroy. Guy needs to move on and make a positive contribution to his original (and I agree very important) cause. Keep legal stuff out of the headlines as the majority of society would do, rather than keep going to the media and making yourself look like someone struggling to come to terms with the end of your career!

  13. If this story leads to a criminal prosecution (as Kluwe is claiming his civil rights were violated), the anonymous, nameless “witnesses” will not hold up due to the 6th amendment. The accused has the right to know his accusers. Unless the investigators can create some new level of jurisprudence, this is all just a smokescreen. The witnesses would come to be identifed if it reaches that point (which it won’t; too much $$$ is at stake).
    Get ready for a big ca$h settlement!

  14. The Martin situation is the perfect analogy. The more politically-correct, liberal opinion-approved guy is in the right, the other person is evil, and who cares about what the facts actually are?

  15. Media types think Kluwe is “witty” and smart and they like his social agenda so they print his allegations without any proof. If this were a player with a non-trendy agenda, they might print it but only with rants and sarcasm about the lack of anything substantive.

  16. I’m still trying to think if I know anyone who cares about crap like this… Just play the games..

  17. No one’s going to know what happens or what goes on. Kluwe could name names, but those who are named witnesses could easily stick together and deny everything. That’s a pretty likely scenario. Is it possible that he’s lying? Sure. But I’ll leave those answers to the people who are really in touch with what is going on- the posters on PFT.

    Same with Jonathan Martin.

    But I’m sure the geniuses will keep coming on these boards and explaining how Jonathan Martin is wrong or how Kluwe shouldn’t be doing this, and how they know the mechanics of everything that is going on.

    The fact is, most fans just want to see football. They could care less how people are treated, who gets a concussion, and how it affects them down the line. They could care less about player safety or what a player’s life is like when he’s 50. Just bully people in the locker room, racially and sexually discriminate, go helmet-to-helmet, take out knees, and give is something good to watch on Sunday. Screw everything else.

  18. anonymous sources (or witnesses) are like terrorists. They wanna do a lot of damage to innocents without putting themselves in harms way. Kluwe supports terrorism…

  19. why should anyone care what this guy thinks or says until he forces a lawsuit. I mean really – I would sit on my hands and not give this guy the time of day. All the Vikings are going to do is end up with a miss mash of denials or they are going to cost themselves some money which is dumb.

  20. Kluless is trying to set himself up for a Holleywood career, talk show, etc.Maybe a book. He read the tealeaves and knows he’ll have a huge political organization behind him(no pun intended) and is looking to cash in. what a punk. I hope he loses every cent he ever made in a slander lawsuit.

  21. “Vikings investigators will allow Kluwe to name witnesses anonymously”………….so what, Kluwe do EVERYBODY a favor and shut the hell up………….please!

  22. Sounds like this will be a clueless investigation to me, ha ha(can’t believe no one used this angle yet).

    Seriously though looks like Kluwe is setting himself up for his retirement fund….. Seems a bit cowardly to me not to have dealt with this when it happened if its true.

  23. “Hi, my name is Chris Kluwe and this story has taken on a life much bigger than I thought it would. All I really wanted was my name out there in hopes that somebody would give me a tryout this offseason. Now I realize I am radioactive to even CFL teams. Whoops.”

  24. This doesn’t make any sense. So Kluwe is going to say “Player A” heard this, “Player B” heard that? Whats that going to accomplish? Nothing. Why bother?

  25. Kluwe should never stop speaking his mind. Just because he’s not a Neanderthal does not mean he’s wrong. The NFL is powerful and is certain to make Kluwe look like an idiot, but I give him credit for trying anyway.

  26. It should be pretty easy to figure out who the potential witnesses are to at least one of the supposed incidents.

    The quote from Priefer about putting all of the gays on an island and then nuking it was allegedly made in a special teams meeting. So anyone who played special teams would have been there. And the way Kluwe described the incident, everyone in the meeting heard the comment.

    How hard could that be to figure out?

  27. So this is Kluwe’s trick. To avoid a defamation lawsuit by saying Witnesses A and B hear Preifer say X. Really pathetic. Can’t believe anyone who is involved in the law on a professional level would allow such a farce.

  28. For the record, this is what Kluwe had previously said regarding witnesses.
    “Kluwe told the Pioneer Press he has some former teammates who were “witnesses.” He said he doesn’t want to involve them but will name them if he must during an investigation the Vikings are conducting that is headed by former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former Department of Justice trial attorney Chris Madel. ”
    “…When the investigation happens, the witnesses will (be evaluated), the evidence will come out and the truth will come forward.”
    How can they be evaluated if no one knows who they are?

  29. Kluwe went out of his way to intentionally do things that would harm/destroy the careers of three men.

    Even if what he says is true, no coach that said it had the power to “nuke” an island of gays — at most the guy was just talking crap to look tough. There was no real harm beyond not agreeing with Kluwe.

    Honestly, in any other setting if an employee went out of his way to make his social views known and continued to do so after his employer told him to refrain as it was distracting the efforts of his fellow employee he would be let go. I would have personally cut him for insubordination. This is a non-story and I wish the Vikings would tell Kluwe to go stuff it (no pun intended).

  30. “Witnesses”?

    Aaron Hernandez is charged with murdering three people. Lives were destroyed. People are in the ground. That is a serious crime. The crimes are a judicial matter, but you should be putting up articles EVERY DAY asking how the NCAA and NFL got to such a state where stone cold criminals are playing the game.

    This unemployed punter has opinions that differ from other people on his team.

    To put these two on the same level of importance is vile and cowardly.

  31. I think Kluwe is setting himself up to fail. That’s pretty much how 80% of the posts are under his name too.

    Mostly, Vikings hating trolls and then your tea party patriots who think anyone in favor of gay rights or even cares about it are supporting some liberal agenda.

    Reading them is as annoying as Kluwe…

  32. Maybe the Vikings can take a page out of the book of Kluwe’s heroes to defend themselves.

    Ex.1 “Let’s put to rest talk of these “phony scandals.”””

    Ex.2 “What difference, at this point, does it make!?”

  33. Glad to see someone stick up for gay rights! But Kluwe went about it the wrong way. If cannot provide any proof he will end up getting sued!! You can’t say things about people without backing it up!!

  34. I am just so glad the Raiders did not pick him over Marquette King.

    I got sparkle ponies all over my arms when the Raiders said it was a toss up who they would choose.

    What the heck is a sparkle pony?

    Any NFL player writing about sparkle ponies should expect a little negative feedback in the locker room.

    Chris, the book was not beautiful or unique.

    You will never punt again, or write I hope.

  35. Inflammatory.

    Is Kluwe…

    1. Deliberately drawing attention to his case with the out of left field Jonathan Martin comment, getting both attention/media focus for his suit and the potential added bonus of renewed media attention on the other very recent and serious ‘bad for the NFL’ allegation.

    2. Referencing Martin out of defensiveness because the lawsuit has overwhelmed him.

    3. Speaking about something he knows nothing about / or just rodman level nuts.
    No chance martins legal team stays quiet this whole time but discloses to klewe.
    He waited months before bringing the suit, seems to have thought behind it…not just crazy talk.

  36. So they are going to play charades and he’ll nod when they guess the player. Don’t see how naming someone anonymously does anything but allow Kluwe to tell people he never threw anyone under the bus.

    Have we all regressed to grade school these days that we get people fired for saying something someone considers to be derogatory? Problem is, just about anything anyone says can be construed as derogatory to someone.

    New career for kids coming out of college…PC policeman/investigator. Guess when nothing but service jobs are being created, this one is a win for Obama.

  37. Oh good. I was worried the witch hunt wouldn’t continue. The champions of tolerance can’t let anyone have a different opinion.

  38. What if Kluwe is telling the truth? I’m not saying he is, but what if another “witness” comes forward and says yeah, this really happened., what happens then.? We are so quick to write him off because we don’t like his loud mouth, but even loud mouth jerks can be right now and then. Does he have a track record of false accusations to further his political agenda, or are you just assuming he is lying because you don’t like his politics? These are life changing accusations for those involved and I don’t take Kluwe for a total idiot. I’m not saying he’s telling the truth, but a situation like this will take time to sift through, I’m not so sure I’m ready to write this off as complete bull until a little more information has been gathered.

  39. Kluge set thus up perfectly. If Kluwe has not told the truth, then Priefer has an obvious and clear defamation case against Kluwe (who himself has relatively deep pockets). And Prefer has or will have obvious damages — list wages. Priefer will sue Kluwe if there’s no truth to what’s been alleged. If Priefer doesn’t sue to collect the millions Kluwe has cost him in future earnings, then we can safely assume what Kluwe has alleged is true.

  40. Where the hell is the guy who always posts about the impending Vikings dynasty? I know someone else already pointed this out, just wanted to point out that the crickets are still chirping and there will NEVER be a Vikings dynasty…

    Cowboys Fan in Arlington

  41. Holy moly. Let’s say the coach did say those things. How screwed up is this world when we spend all this time and effort to find out if someone SAID something??? Now if they DID something that’s one thing…but who cares what anybody SAYS? This is becoming a country where nobody can live with getting their feelings hurt. Insanity.

  42. “I’ve seen how this stuff gets handled in the NFL,” Kluwe said. “Jonathan Martin is a good example.”

    Jonathan Martin didn’t want to play anymore, that’s it.

    He came from a family of lawyers and they found a way for him to make money while not playing and getting hurt.

    The NFL then caved from the liberal media’s pressure.

    So in a way it really is like the Jonathan Martin case, because they’re both bullcrap.

  43. Kluwe’s agenda is clear. He wants to be a spokesman. He doesn’t want to actually work for a living now that he’s lost the ability to punt for a living. This is the Al Sharpton technique of complaining and accusing everyone of prejudiced just to get attention and appear to be a leader of a cause. But if you take a good look inside his heart you will discover that he too holds a prejudice against heteros. He believes we’re all gay hating bigots. He could not be more wrong. I expect that one day MSNBC or CBN will offer him a talk show so he can continue to launch his one man assault on innocent people from a TV stage.

  44. Clever ending to this story. “Tell the truth and risk retaliation” What if the truth is that Kluwe is making it up and can’t stand that he isn’t getting attention anymore? I doubt there would be retaliation for that. The author appears to have drawn a conclusion based on Kluwe’s allegations only. Hasn’t Priefer denied it?

  45. How is it that the always entertaining East Dakota Vikings are constantly in the news for reasons other than excellence on the field of play? There is just something wrong with this franchise. But they do put the “fun” in “dysfunction”. Can’t wait to see what happens next…

  46. This is an exact example to show how intolerant those on the left like Kluwe are. If you don’t adhere to their beliefs your are some sort of phob. What a waste of time.

  47. His tweets were funny about 5 years ago…

    Now he just needs to come to grips with the fact that he’s not as good as his salary dictated, and it was time for his employer to part ways with him.

    If I remember correctly, he was so into his marriage equality issues, that he forgot to listen to reason that year and kept punting the ball to Hester. I think Hester housed one on him. And as Prime Time says… “Don’t kick it to Hester!”

    When your skills diminish, and your getting paid more than what your worth to your employer, something is going to happen. A couple other teams took a flyer on him in the offseason and during the season. He just didn’t cut the mustard anymore.

    Kluwe, get over it. Your done! It’s over for you. Now go read your sparkle ponies book and play your Nintendo, and Atari or whatever you play, and leave the big boys alone!

  48. The comments left here by readers clearly illustrate the hostile, bigoted environment of the NFL and fans. If a straight man speaking in favor of compassionate treatment of gays gets this kind of flack, imagine how hard it will be for a gay player to come out.

  49. Investigator: So what happened?
    Kluwe: He did horrible insensitive things.
    Investigator: Really? Do you have any proof of this?
    Kluwe: There were witnesses? That is proof.
    Investigator: Who was there?
    Kluwe: Anonymous football players.
    Investigator: Can you tell me their stats?
    Kluwe: Their Warcraft stats?
    Investigator: No. Their football stats.
    Kluwe: I don’t really like football.

  50. I will give the Vikings this much, without them we wouldn’t have scandals like the Love Boat, Whizanator, Superbowl Scalping and mandatory rehydration breaks in training camps.

    Granted, this gay rights advocacy by a crappy out of work punter falls further down the list in terms of shock and awe but when your team finishes in last place in two out of the last three years, you need something to fill up the sports pages of the local newspaper.

  51. Kluwe is a Turd, he stressed the fact that he wanted to get Prifer fired, and he should never work in the NFL again. That is pretty harsh. He is am excellent special teams coach, one I hope remains with the new regime. If he made the comment, he may need some sensitivity training. Seriously? Do you really think a few words should hang a man,???! I loathe Kluwe, he is a fool. He pops off 2 years later. Vikings made the smart move by drafting a younger , cheaper, equal version of Kluwe without all the baggage.
    I do know that Aaron Rodgers and his boyfriend are probably very proud of Kluwe! Rainbows and unicorns!

  52. According to Chris Tomasson’s article in today’s Pioneer Press, one of the investigating attorneys (Madel) claims that no such agreement has been made.

    “One of the lawyers investigating claims made by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said Friday night that no witness Kluwe might name will be guaranteed anonymity. This came after Kluwe’s lawyer said earlier in the day that his understanding was confidentiality would be offered. ”

    “We have specifically told Mr. Kluwe’s counsel that we will agree to no preconditions to any interview with respect to this investigation,” Madel said Friday night. “None. And that includes confidentiality of anything.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!