The Minnesota Vikings have reached a deal with former punter Chris Kluwe that will avert a lawsuit over his firing for making remarks supporting LGBT rights, Fox Sports is reporting.
The settlement requires the Vikings to donate an undisclosed sum of money to various pro-LGBT charities over the next five years. Two of them are the Matthew Shepard Foundation and You Can Play; the other three recipients of the settlement money have not been disclosed, as of this post, because they have not yet been notified through official channels. The Matthew Shepard Foundation, according to its website, spreads the message of tolerance and acceptance in honor of its namesake, who was murdered in a vicious anti-gay hate crime in 1998. You Can Play is dedicated to eradicating homophobia in sports, and is run by retired NFL player Wade Davis, who came out as gay after his NFL career. Under the terms of the settlement, Chris Kluwe will not receive any money.
Also, I get exactly ZERO dollars from this settlement, so if you sent me a nasty message over the past months, go mainline bleach.
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) August 19, 2014
Kluwe was let go from the Vikings in 2013, after he had made several public statements in support of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights (See this Inquisitr article). Kluwe sued, alleging wrongful termination, and also that some Vikings coaches had made anti-gay remarks, to him and in general, according to Huffington Post.
Other terms of the settlement include the Vikings requiring all employees to undergo sensitivity training four times per year, and the team hosting a conference in Minneapolis next spring to address issues related to LGBT concerns in sports. Team co-owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement:
“In regards to this matter, our focus remains on maintaining a culture of tolerance, inclusion and respect, and creating the best workplace environment for our players, coaches and staff.”
Since his firing, Kluwe has not been able to find another punting job. Whether that’s because of his statements, or because his career was already in decline when he was let go from the Vikings, is a matter of debate. But Huffington Post notes that, in the year prior to his release from the Vikings, Kluwe was ranked 17th among NFL players and was 31 years old. He has stated that he is currently seeking opportunities in publishing or public-speaking.
Do you believe that the settlement reached between Chris Kluwe and the Vikings is fair? Let us know what you think in the Comments.
Image courtesy of: Salon