Vikings Hire Two Top “Players” to Investigate Ex-Punter’s Allegations
The Minnesota Vikings have retained former Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice Eric Magnuson and former Justice Department attorney Chris Madel to investigate ex-punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations that he was fired for supporting same-sex marriage.
On January 2, 2013, Kluwe published an article on Deadspin outlining the time leading up to his release from the team. He discussed speaking out in support same-sex marriage and the response of team employees. Kluwe said he is “pretty confident” he was fired after eight years as the Vikings’ punter because of his a “recent activism for same-sex marriage rights.”
Despite Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf’s support of his activism, Kluwe says others in the organization pushed for his release. More specifically, Kluwe said Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer “didn’t agree with the cause I was working for, … and [then-coach] Leslie Frazier and [general manager] Rick Spielman … lacked the fortitude to disagree with Mike Priefer on a touchy subject matter.” In his heated accusation, Kluwe referred to Priefer as a bigot and Frazier and Spielman as cowards.
One day after the article was published, the Vikings issued a statement saying they take the allegations “very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.” The statement specified that “Chris was released strictly based on his football performance.”
Priefer denied Kluwe’s allegations.
The team’s review is underway and is being conducted by Magnuson and Madel. They are interviewing current and former members of the organization. The organization said it is confident the two attorneys will “address the issue with integrity” and “move swiftly and fairly in completing the investigation.”
Kluwe says he knows that his statements are very serious and he has evidence to back them up. He hasn’t indicated whether he has any witnesses. However, he is happy to see the matter being taken seriously and is looking forward to cooperating with the investigation. He hopes that “Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level.”