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Kluwe to Sue Vikings after Team Releases Investigation Summary, Suspends Coach

Updated: 07/19/2014 10:18 PM
Created: 07/19/2014 8:47 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe says he will officially file a lawsuit against the team this coming week.

The announcement comes after the Vikings launched an investigation in response to Kluwe's allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by a coach during the 2012 season.

Earlier in the week, Kluwe and his attorney said during a news conference they planned to file a lawsuit against the Vikings because the team reneged on a promise to give him a copy of their investigation.

On Friday, the team released a summary of findings by outside lawyers hired in January to investigate Kluwe's accusations, which included a claim he was released because of his gay-rights advocacy. He was cut in May 2013 after eight seasons with the Vikings.

According to the summary, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was questioned three times during the investigation. He initially denied making a remark Kluwe alleged about "putting all the gays on an island and nuking it" but later acknowledged he might have. Long snapper Cullen Loeffler told the investigators he heard the same comment Kluwe did, but that he assumed Priefer was joking.

According to the report, Priefer made the statement after becoming frustrated that Kluwe was not focused during practice.

The Vikings say they will suspend Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups.

However, Kluwe says he is disappointed the team chose to not to release the full investigation report, releasing a summary of findings instead.

"To me it really says something when a 29-page summary of a 150-page report, three of those pages actually deal with the subject of the report, and then 26 deal with the person who made the complaint,” Kluwe, referring to himself as the person in the complaint, said.

Kluwe's attorney, Kyle Halunen, insists the investigation revealed a homophobic culture within the Vikings organization and "actually recommended some significant changes as far as how the Vikings do business."

"What was released last night was nothing," Halunen said Saturday. "It does not even resemble the actual report, the 150-page report, that was completed by the independent investigators."

Halunen says the lawsuit against the Vikings will be filed for discrimination, defamation, retaliation and intentional interference with contractual negotiations.


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