MINNEAPOLIS – (July 15, 2014) Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe will not be able to see the final report of an independent investigation into allegations he made about homophobic verbal attacks on him as a member of the team in 2012. The Vikings told Kluwe’s attorney, Clayton Halunen, on Monday that they were not releasing their investigators’ final report to Kluwe or the public.
Kluwe’s only recourse is to file a lawsuit against the Vikings, said his attorney, Clayton Halunen of Minneapolis-based Halunen Law.
The Vikings promised Kluwe and the public a “full accounting and transparent process” when announcing their investigation in January 2014, said Clayton Halunen, Kluwe’s Minneapolis-based attorney. “But now that the report is complete, they refuse to give us a copy of the findings. It’s transparently obvious to me that the Vikings are covering up the truth, even if it means deceiving the public and lying to my client about their intentions.”
“It’s outrageous that the Vikings would choose to hide the facts of the investigation from me and from their fans,” said Kluwe, who held a news conference in Minneapolis on Tuesday to denounce the Vikings for their “bad faith” decision to withhold the full findings of the investigation.
“We have no choice but to litigate at this point,” said Halunen. “Chris Kluwe willingly cooperated with the Vikings’ investigation – all he ever wanted was for the truth to come out. He wanted the Vikings to admit that a member of the coaching staff, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, subjected him to a reign of homophobic slurs and innuendoes intended to denigrate him for his off-the-field support for gay marriage rights.
Kluwe has also alleged that the Vikings wrongfully terminated him, following the 2012 season, for reasons unrelated to his job performance. “They just didn’t want an outspoken gay rights advocate on their team,” Kluwe said. Kluwe has not worked in the NFL since, even though he is still in what many consider the prime career years for a punter.
Minnesota Vikings fans are the real losers in this sad affair, said Kluwe. “The fans deserve to know that what I said about Priefer and the way the Vikings let me go was the truth,” he said. “I was persecuted and then fired for standing up for what I believe in, all because some small-minded, bigoted people think that homophobia is okay in the NFL. It is not okay, and now it seems like we’ll have to go to court to force the Vikings to admit that.”
MPR Story: Kluwe announces he will sue Vikings
New York Times: Ex-Punter Pressures Vikings for Report
Contact: Clayton Halunen