Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, an outspoken gay rights activist, accused the Vikings’ special teams coach of saying that gay people should be killed during a meeting and he has now been entirely vindicated in that accusation. But the Vikings are playing a furious game of cover-your-ass and pretending that everything’s fine.
Nevertheless, the 29-page analysis reveals that investigators concluded that Preifer did, in fact, make the remark about nuking gays, just as Kluwe alleged. The Vikings announced that Priefer would be suspended for the first three games of this season and the team would donate $100,000 to an LGBT organization.
The Vikings lawyers claims that although Preifer said we should “nuke… all the gays,” he was otherwise completely respectful of LGBT people and those advocating on their behalf. The analysis insist that “[o]ther than Kluwe’s allegations, there is no support in the record that Priefer made any additional statements of this nature.” They rely on current employees of the Vikings, including front-office staff, who claim they never heard Priefer say “anything inappropriate, demeaning, or to make comments about gay individuals.”
Yesterday, Priefer apologized for his “insensitive remark,” which he never actually admitted to making in multiple interviews with investigators. At first, Priefer flatly “denied making any inappropriate statements about gay individuals or marriage equality.” Later he “acknowledged that he may have made the statement” about nuking gays but “was adamant that any comment was made in jest.”
The Vikings lawyers acknowledge that Kluwe was encouraged by Vikings management to scale back his activism in support of LGBT rights, but insist it was completely unrelated to the substance of his activism. The analysis claims that “players and management were concerned about the distraction that Kluwe’s activism was creating, as opposed to the nature and content of his activism.”
Yes, of course. And if he had been advocating for, say, better health care for wounded veterans, I’m sure they would have had the same reaction, right? Nonsense. It had everything to do with the content of his activism.