Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe announced today he is suing the team to release the final report complied by outside investigators hired by the Vikings to look into allegations of routine discrimination and harassment within the organization. Speaking at a press conference, Kluwe’s lawyer Clayton Halunen stated, “This goes to the highest ranks of Vikings management.”
While the venue of the suit has yet to be decided, Halunen said Kluwe is owed the report as a normal part of discovery for the current litigation his client is involved in with the team and said, “They’re not above the law, but they’re acting like they’re above the law.”
Both Kluwe and Halunen expressed surprise that the team would withhold the report from them and both believed it should be disclosed not only to them for legal reasons, but to the general public so large organizations could use it as a guide on how to handle sensitive workplace issues of harassment over religious differences and LGBT rights. Halunen said that because of the disturbing regularity of these problems in workplaces he wanted release the report, adding, “To the extent that we can, we’ll make this report public.”
Halunen and Kluwe also said they had been in talks for a settlement over Kluwe’s suit claiming he had been blackballed from the team for speaking out on marriage rights. (If you recall, Vikings coach Mike Priefer came out looking like a real creep, a point brought home again today when Kluwe said in the press conference Priefer had told him he was “going to hell with all the gays” for being agnostic.) Halunen again emphasized Kluwe had no desire to be in litigation and planned on taking the money from the suit and donate to a LGBTQ cause in Kluwe’s name. With the report being due this week and a meeting with the Vikings already scheduled for Thursday, they thought they were finally at the end of this ordeal.
Kluwe went on to say he knew writing the piece I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot for Deadspin meant he would probably never play football again, adding, “This is a children’s game and there are things more important than a children’s game.”
When asked why more players did not come forward to support his allegations, Kluwe said that word spread quickly on how he had been blackballed in the league and he understood why other players would not want to have what happened to him happen to them.
Halunen said they had some idea what was in the report from their various meetings with investigators, including that Priefer had met with them three times and in the third meeting admitted to saying some of what he was accused of stating. Unfortunately without a full report, we have no idea what he has agreed to and how the Vikings organization was doing to correct the issue.
So what do the Vikings gain by not releasing the report? As many have already pointed out, including Cyd Zeigler at OutSports, we can only assume the worst about what is happening in the Vikings organization. According to the Pioneer Press, the report was 150 pages with nearly 1,600 citations, leaving us to believe in the course of the investigation, the outside attorneys hired by the team stumbled upon even more hideous things uttered by coach Priefer.
In the absence of information, let’s take a stab at what Priefer may have said in the locker room that the Vikings are so embarrassed by.
- “If I see one more rainbow flag I’m going to strangle the first gay leprechaun I see and serve him for Easter dinner.”
- “Pounder, you use hair gel? FAGGGGGGGGGG.”
- “Remember, sloth is a deadly sin, Baca.”
- “Peterson, good for you for not using birth control. Real Old Testament living with those multiple wives. High-five.”
- “We have to wear pink again for Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Doesn’t anyone remember Proverbs 31:3, ‘Give not your strength to women?'”
- “Kluwe, we want you to kick shorter. Like your penis. Your always standing up for the rights of others penis. Penis. Penis Penis. Penis.”
- “No, I’m not obsessed with penises and the sex lives of others. Penis.”
- “God, I hate myself.”