At a press conference yesterday, Clayton Halunen announced that a settlement had been reached between former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and the Vikings. The settlement, described in the press release below has been covered by the national press as a historic and game-changing more forward in the elimination of homophobia from professional sports.
“As one of the most respected sports franchises in the country, the Vikings have committed to continue to positively impact how homophobia is dealt with in professional sports,” says Clayton Halunen, the Minneapolis-based attorney who Kluwe hired to represent him in his claims against the Vikings.
“Vikings ownership and management is truly putting its money where its mouth is,” says Halunen. “The team will make contributions to a number of local and national LGBT-related non-profits that will have a substantial and material benefit in the fight for LGBT rights through education and training. One of the charities is the Mathew Shepard Foundation – a charity run by the parents of a young college student who was beaten and left to die on a fence in Laramie, Wyoming because he was gay. The organization travels throughout the United States with its ‘Erase Hate’ campaign to educate law enforcement on hate crime recognition and prosecution.“ Some of the other charities are sports-related and include one run by retired and openly gay NFL player, Wade Davis.
According to Halunen, “As Chris always stated, this is not about money but about changing the culture of professional sports that tolerates homophobia at any level. For Chris,” says Halunen, “This agreement with the Vikings is a big step forward in that direction.
“Kluwe will receive no proceeds from the agreement. As we said from the start, this dispute was never about money or ego. We were adamant from the start that what we wanted was for Chris’s name and reputation as both a football player and human being to be cleared,” says Halunen.
“To its credit, the Vikings conducted a thorough and objective investigation into Kluwe’s allegations,” says Halunen. “And they made public enough parts of that investigation to corroborate Chris’s story.”
“Chris Kluwe is a man of the utmost integrity,” Halunen adds. “He isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in, and that’s something that everyone can respect. It’s been a privilege to serve as his attorney for the seven and one-half months it took to reach this agreement.”
For coverage of the Kluwe and Vikings settlement, see: