Chris Kluwe to sue Minnesota VIkinings

Chris Kluwe talking Tuesday, July 15, 2014 about his intentions to sue the Minnesota Vikings. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune,Elizabeth Flores) MANDATORY CREDIT; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT; MAGS OUT; TWIN CITIES TV OUT

Chris Kluwe is a new breed of NFL player and athlete, and started using Twitter in 2010 to talk to fans about his career, and his interests. Kluwe was a punter for the Minnesota Vikings from 2005-2012 his over two hundred thousand Twitter followers speak to his honesty of his tweets and his interest in, what can be classified best as, geek culture. (His Twitter handle IS @ChrisWarcraft, and that is pretty geeky.)

Kluwe was released from the Vikings on May 6th, 2013. According to an auto-biographical account published on Deadspin Kluwe states his belief that his activism in openly supporting gay marriage is what caused his release. In response the Vikings released a statement on January 2, 2014 via Vikings.com.

The Minnesota Vikings were made aware of Chris Kluwe’s allegations for the first time today. We take them very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.

As an organization, the Vikings consistently strive to create a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for all of our players, coaches and front office personnel. We do not tolerate discrimination at any level. The team has long respected our players’ and associates’ individual rights, and, as Chris specifically stated, Vikings ownership supports and promotes tolerance, including on the subject of marriage equality. Because he was identified with the Vikings, Chris was asked to be respectful while expressing his opinions. Team ownership and management also repeatedly emphasized to Chris that the Vikings would not impinge on his right to express his views.

Any notion that Chris was released from our football team due to his stance on marriage equality is entirely inaccurate and inconsistent with team policy. Chris was released strictly based on his football performance.

We will have further comment at the appropriate time.

The appropriate time to comment came last night, Friday July 18th, 2014. The Vikings released this statement, again via Vikings.com. It talks about the results of their internal investigation into Kluwe’s claims and accusations. They reported finding very little substance to report Kluwe’s claims admitting only that special teams coach Mike Priefer had made one insensitive remark to Kluwe and, as a result, he will be suspended for three games without pay during the 2014 regular season. If Priefer attends “individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training” his suspension will be reduced to two games.

In a year when the Miami Dolphins organization allowed NFL investigators to turn their organization inside out in response to the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito situation the Vikings press release comes off as a little thin, and Kluwe said as much on Twitter this morning.


While I don’t believe Kluwe was released solely because of his punting ability, as the Vikings said in their statement it had a lot to do with veteran minimum salaries, plus his activism. That doesn’t mean Vikings aren’t in the wrong though.

If you cast a harsh enough light on anything, you are going to find imperfections. Which is why Dr. House, on the show of his name, hates full body scans, too many things to investigate. Kluwe alluded to many of these imperfections in the Vikings organization, and even admitted to being guilty of transgressions himself. If the investigation were a true, transparent, honest look into the actions of the Vikings organization there should have been more incidents revealed, regardless of their involvement of Kluwe.

No organization is perfect. Football specifically is often viewed as an “old boys” network where “men should be men.” It is why Michael Sam’s announcement of being gay before he was drafted was correctly heralded by the media and recently by ESPN awarding him the Arthur Ashe Award at the ESPY’s as courageous. Sam was going against the “accepted” NFL grain, so was Kluwe.

The Vikings are either trying to protect their “old boys” system because they don’t want to change or are just too dumb to realize that regardless of how strong their defense against Kluwe’s personal claims maybe, he is not going to go quietly into the night. Kluwe is going to sue the Vikings and said so much on Twitter.


Kluwe is going to sue and probably lose. His goal at this time is to bring to light the way the Vikings organization has refused to evolve to accept those with different thoughts and ideas while protecting those who take advantage of their positions of authority (coaches) or celebrity status (players).

The NFL stepped in and did a very good job helping the Dolphins handle and Martin/Incognito situation. The key was the Dolphin’s ability to allow the transparency into their organization to uncover anything that might be wrong. Roger Goodell and the Vikings need to bring in an independent investigator to do as thorough a job as was done for the Dolphins because Kluwe has already hinted that he has sensitive information he is more than willing to reveal.


This is going to get ugly for the Kluwe, the Vikings and the NFL. The thing to know though is that Kluwe doesn’t care, he knows his NFL career is over. He wants to affect change, and he is willing to put himself through the ugliness to do it.

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