Chris Kluwe is suing the Minnesota Vikings, claiming the team fired him in retribution for his advocacy for gay rights, a charge the team denies.
The former punter was cut by the Vikings last season, which Kluwe claims was the result of a feud he had with team management. Kluwe, who was vocal for gay marriage rights, claims that special teams coach Mike Priefer began using homophobic language after Kluwe started his advocacy.
This week, the team completed an internal investigation on the issue, but Kluwe claims they went back on a promise to make the findings public.
“Kluwe and his attorney will voice their concerns about the Minnesota Vikings’ reneging on a promise to release a copy of their investigation into allegations of homophobic behavior by a coach,” a press release announcing the news conference says. “On Monday, July 14, the Vikings informed Kluwe’s attorney that they would not provide a copy of the report to either Kluwe or the public.”
On Tuesday, the team issued a statement about the investigation, which was led by former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Chris Madel.
The team looked into whether Priefer made offensive and insensitive remarks in Kluwe’s presence, and if Vikings management knew about it before Kluwe went public in an essay published in January.
The team also contested Chris Kluwe’s assertion that the information was not shared:
As Magnuson and Madel confirmed today, the Vikings have never made or broken promises as Kluwe and his attorney Clayton Halunen have claimed. The Vikings have also never engaged in the various comments that Kluwe and Halunen have provided to the media over the past six months. This Thursday, July 17, the team has a meeting scheduled between Halunen and Vikings attorneys to discuss next steps.
As we have consistently communicated throughout this process, the Vikings will have further comment when the investigation is entirely complete and the team has made determinations on next steps.
But Chris Kluwe has already determined his next step. Reports on Tuesday said he planned to sue the team for religious discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, defamation, and tortuous interference.