Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe has retained attorneys from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Clayton Halunen to represent him during the Minnesota Vikings' investigation of claims he made last week of a homophobic culture at the team which led to his firing, ABC5 reports:
Kluwe said he plans to "fully cooperate" with the Vikings' investigation, and said his hiring of legal counsel should not be interpreted as a signal of intent to file a lawsuit. "I want the truth to come out from the investigation, not in litigation," Kluwe said.
In an article he published on Deadspin recently, Kluwe alleged that Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer made derogatory remarks about gays and other members of the LGBT community both to him personally and in team meetings. The alleged remarks were made in 2012, when Kluwe was still a member of the Vikings and also when he was speaking out publicly against passage of a constitutional referendum in Minnesota to restrict marriage to heterosexual-only couples. Priefer issued a statement “strongly denying” the allegations, and the Vikings released a statement about the article.
Kluwe alleged that Priefer’s remarks were intended to humiliate him into silence. When that didn’t happen, Kluwe alleged, other members of the Vikings management team pressured him to tone down his off-the-field comments in favor of equal marriage rights for all. Finally, the team cut him from the squad prior to the start of the 2013 season. He has not played in the NFL since then.