Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe plans to sue the franchise for discrimination unless the team releases the findings of its investigation into the player's allegation that he was subjected to harassment and hostility for speaking out in favor of gay marriage.
Kluwe said the team is not living up to a promise to release those findings, but the Vikings immediately denied that claim through a press release from a public relations firm.
Kluwe said Tuesday he will file a lawsuit for religious discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, defamation and tortuous interference.
The Vikings said a meeting is scheduled for Thursday.
“Chris Madel, Eric Magnuson, and Jennifer Robbins of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. met with Chris Kluwe's attorney, Clayton Halunen, July 14 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the status of the independent investigation and to arrange a meeting between Halunen and Vikings representatives for Thursday, July 17 to continue that discussion,” the statement from Jaffe PR read. “At no time during the July 14 meeting did Madel, Magnuson, or Robbins tell Halunen that the Vikings ‘would not provide a copy of the report to either Kluwe or the public' as Halunen's press release of this morning states. At the meeting, Halunen agreed to meet with Vikings representatives on Thursday, and that meeting is still scheduled. It is anticipated that issues relating to the investigation will be discussed at that meeting.”
Kluwe said Tuesday the Vikings' failure to release the results of their independent “investigation into allegations of homophobic behavior by a coach” prompted his action. He claims the Vikings told him the report wouldn't be released to the public or to Kluwe.
The player's position is that if the report shows no wrongdoing by special teams coach Mike Priefer, it should have been released immediately.
Kluwe, who was the punter for the Vikings from 2005 through 2012, alleges he was released because of his advocacy, not football performance. He said Priefer began making homophobic comments toward him when Kluwe began to publicly support gay marriage.