Vikings Asst. Coach Mike Priefer Denies Kluwe ‘Bigot’ Accusations: ‘I Have Gay Family Members…’

Minnesota Vikings Assistant Coach Mike Priefer, whom Chris Kluwe called a "bigot" in a statement accusing team officials of releasing him because of his gay activism, issued a statement yesterday denying Kluwe's claims.

Said Priefer: Priefer

“I vehemently deny today’s allegations made by Chris Kluwe. I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member. The comments today have not only attacked my character and insulted my professionalism, but they have also impacted my family.”


  1. anon says

    Since when does having gay family members preclude you from saying stupid and bigoted things? Cases on point…. Newt Gingrich has a gay sister. Phyllis Schaffley has a gay son… shall we go on?

  2. Jay says

    I cannot imagine that Kluwe would have made the accusation without knowing that other people would back him up. He said that Pfeifer made the most chilling comment in a session with other players. I suspect that Pfeifer would be threatening a lawsuit if the accusation were not true.

  3. Jay says

    Kluwe told the Star-Tribune, “Contacted after his article was published, Kluwe said he stands by everything he wrote.

    “I have witnesses,” he said. “I prefer not to call any witnesses unless it’s legally needed because those are my friends and teammates and I’d like to keep them out of it.”

    I doubt that Priefer is going to sue Kluwe for defamation.

  4. says

    Does anyone really believe Kluwe made this up?
    Of course Priefer said it. A room full of witnesses. Kluwe didn’t want to hurt his old teammates chances so he didn’t say anything right away. End of season, Minn is hiring new coach & Priefer is being considered. Now is the perfect time to speak up. Priefer didn’t even have the courage to own his bigotry. Does he think every witnesses in the room is going to stay silent or worse back him up? It’s only going to make him look even more pathetic when he does have to own up to it.

    Let’s see if the Vikings owners promote a coach that calls for LGBT to be nuked. See what the NFL does about it.

  5. bkmn says

    The concept of rounding up all the gays and finding a way to kill them (starvation, nuking, shooting squad, etc.) comes from the mouthpieces of the religious right. I would love to know what church Priefer belongs to. There are plenty of the mega-churches around Eden Prairie where the Vikes are and most are of the evangelical fire n’brimstone types.

  6. Kickoff says

    1)I very much appreciate Kluwe’s support for equality and of LGBTs in general. I admire his courage.

    2)I have no doubt that there is a strong homophobic element in the NFL, particularly among the coaching staffs, who will tend to be an older generation. I also tend to believe Kluwe when he says that Priefer made homophobic, anti-gay, borderline call-to-violence statements.

    3)I believe that Kluwe’s outspoken stance in support of LGBT equality was one of several factors in his being cut from the Vikings. Other factors no doubt included his relatively high salary, his age, and his productivity (including projected performance) as a punter, all of which taken together probably made the Vikings consider his value as marginal. His marginal value combined with his outspokenness (and possibly strained interpersonal relations with some teammates and coaching) undoubtedly led to the Vikings failing to retain him.

    4)I have to admit wondering why Kluwe did not mention these statements earlier. Why didn’t he complain when they were made? Why, at least, didn’t he mention them earlier in the year when he separated from the team?

    5)I believe that Kluwe would be a somewhat more effective advocate for tolerance if he moderated his tone somewhat, and if his statements didn’t look like he had a personal axe to grind against individuals who had made personnel decisions that had had an adverse effect on Kluwe personally. While I believe the content of Kluwe’s allegatons, his tone, manner, and timing leave him open to accusations of self-interest, pettiness, and vengefulness.

    Kluwe would almost certainly benefit from some professional PR representation. I don’t know what his future professional ambitions are–he is still fairly young (32) particularly for a specialist position like a punter. As interesting as his perspective on the game might be as a broadcaster/journalist, I am somewhat apprehensive that his scorched-earth commentary might render him too controversial for mainstream television.

    In short, someone needs to help him find a way to continue to be a forceful advocate for equality, WITHOUT limiting his own career prospects. The LGBT community owes him a big debt of gratitude and support for stepping up and speaking out.

  7. Belthazar says

    At this point, it is nothing more than “he said, she said”, more he said. And that is the issue with these allegations.

    If you (Kluwe) are going to allege that someone (Priefer) made horrific statements then it is incumbent on the person making the allegation to offer proof – not “take my word for it”.

  8. jjose712 says

    Sorry, but having gay family member doesn’t mean you are not a bigot, and we know (for a lot of posters here) that a good bunch of gay people are able to support a good amount of bigotry.

    Belthazar: Not true. If Kluwe was suing this man that will be correct, but that’s not the case.
    You don’t need to support your words with proves (what proves he can get of something the coach said when they were training), you have your credibility.
    The fact that you can prove something doesn’t mean it’s not true

  9. Belthazar says

    @JJOSE712 – “The fact that you can prove something doesn’t mean it’s not true.”

    I’m going to assume you meant cannot. That begs the question, why believe Kluwe if he has offer no proof?

    By your analysis, anyone could say anything without offering any proof as long as they are not suing and because they “cannot” prove it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Que Tony Perkins about how gays recruit and indoctrinate children. He’s not suing anyone so no proof need be offered; even though it cannot be proven doesn’t mean it’s not true.

    Credibility: This alleged incident took place prior to him being released. Here is Kluwe’s statement [after] being release. “This is a true answer. I honestly don’t know if my activism was the reason I got fired.” This would indicate that the alleged incident (person) was not enough for him to “know” then but it is now.

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