Minnesota Vikings Deny Chris Kluwe Claims He Was Fired for Gay Activism

The Minnesota Vikings have released a statement denying claims made by former Viking punter Chris Kluwe that he was fired for his activism on behalf of gay rights:

C_kluweThe Minnesota Vikings were made aware of Chris Kluwe’s allegations for the first time today. We take them very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.

As an organization, the Vikings consistently strive to create a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for all of our players, coaches and front office personnel. We do not tolerate discrimination at any level. The team has long respected our players’ and associates’ individual rights, and, as Chris specifically stated, Vikings ownership supports and promotes tolerance, including on the subject of marriage equality. Because he was identified with the Vikings, Chris was asked to be respectful while expressing his opinions. Team ownership and management also repeatedly emphasized to Chris that the Vikings would not impinge on his right to express his views.

Any notion that Chris was released from our football team due to his stance on marriage equality is entirely inaccurate and inconsistent with team policy. Chris was released strictly based on his football performance.
We will have further comment at the appropriate time.


  1. Leo says

    At least in regards to the alleged Priefer comments, Kluwe wouldn’t have bothered to point out what he’s said unless he didn’t have people to back him up in case of a lawsuit – he also has nothing more to lose in terms of career.

    Priefer, with any luck, will now forever be seen as toxic to work with in any future team which is completely refreshing. The culture of football may be finally getting the rude awakening they so sorely deserve on this subject…actions have consequences.

  2. Jonathan says

    The Vikings have not denied Kluwe’s allegations. Kluwe took great pains in his article to say that he did not believe that the Vikings, as an organization, let him go because of his advocacy, but that his boss created a hostile work environment and then cooked his performance review, and that his boss’s boss and hiss boss’s boss’s boss did not have the courage or the intelligence to figure out that performance review was bogus and therefore let him go for performance related reasons that were bogus. The Vikings statement itself, while not immediately corroborating his account, at least acknowledges the possibility of it’s accuracy by starting with the commitment to investigate the allegations.

  3. Eric says

    “The Minnesota Vikings were made aware of Chris Kluwe’s allegations for the first time today. We take them very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.”

    Not. Good. Enough.

    The NFL needs to have a formal investigation regarding the homophobic slurs and if they created a hostile work environment. We’ve reached the tipping point socially where homophobic slurs have no more place in organized sports than racial slurs.

    As far as Kluwe’s termination, I don’t know if there are any state laws that might protect him, but the First Amendment doesn’t give you a right to a spot on a football team (and Kluwe isn’t making that claim at all), just like it doesn’t give you a right to a spot on a stupid “reality” show (I’m looking at you A&E). However, if they made his work environment hostile before he left, that’s another matter entirely.

  4. Jonathan says

    The problem with hostile work environment claims in this situation is that Kluwe quite clearly makes no assertion that he reported the incidents in question. Should the head coach and general manager have known that the special teams coordinator was spewing this stuff without Kluwe’s notification? I have no idea, but there’s certainly an argument to be made that they can’t be held responsible if no one complained.

  5. terry says

    Kluwe’s work performance doesn’t seem to be in question so what was the deciding factor in his release……hmmmm. Even without a complaint the work environment can still be considered hostile. Better to try to play out one’s career in the hope that others who are witness to the crap will do the right thing.

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