Minnesota Vikings And Chris Kluwe Reach Settlement In Homophobic Coach Investigation


Chris Kluwe and the the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement following Kluwe’s pursuit of a lawsuit against the football franchise. After being let go from the Vikings, Kluwe made headlines accusing Viking management of explicit homophobia, which he claims ultimately led to his termination.

In response to Kluwe’s allegations, Vikings management initiated an internal review of events focusing on special teams coach Mike Priefer. Were the team’s investigation not to result in swift punishment for Priefer, Kluwe warned, he would file a formal lawsuit. The Vikings ultimately suspended Priefer for three games and fined him $100,000 to be paid to LGBT organizations, penalties that Kluwe felt were not enough.

“The parties intend to hold a joint press conference early next week to make public the terms of a settlement arrived at late last night,” Kluwe’s lawyer Clayton Halunen told USA Today.


  1. EchtKultig says

    Quite to the contrary Mike; though I appreciate Kluwe’s doggedness the only way to make this look good in the eyes of a skeptical public is for all but a small amount of the settlement to go to some pro-LGBT rights non-profit. Otherwise people will assume he was just looking out for himself. The high-incoming earning days of any pro athlete are, as we all know, limited.

  2. steve says

    I really LIKE this guy and believe that he made a huge difference during the Washington State, Maryland and Maine Marriage equality campaigns in regards to public media exposure as a straight man for LGBTQ rights!

  3. Henry Holland says

    Odd, isn’t it, how Kluwe and his lawyer went from a scorched earth policy re: the Vikings to “let’s negotiate a settlement” after it was revealed that he was doing stuff in the locker room like bending over, ripping open his pants and showing everyone his bunghole to get laughs.

    And on a purely football level, the Vikings were justified in cutting him, he was old and way overpaid for being a punter. The Raiders thought so too.

  4. Markt says

    Henry – Don’t understand your post. What does what Kluwe did in the locker room have to do with anything? It is unlikely that the actions you describe could be a separate basis for termination. Kluwe sued because he was sure that he was let go for speaking out about civil rights for homosexuals. The supporting proof was many homophobic statements on the part of certain supervisory staff. An investigation and report vindicated Kluwe’s position. The individual was penalized. Kluwe sued because he felt the penalty wasn’t sufficient. As he said he would from the start if the penalty was weak. By settling for money the penalty is greater to the organization than it would otherwise have been. The individual was penalized. In a law suit that would carry some weight and limit the likelihood of success because the penalty has already been leveled. Henry – are u from Vikings management or what?

  5. Henry Holland says

    “What does what Kluwe did in the locker room have to do with anything?”

    Because it completely undercut his claim that the locker room was homophobic because of that coach and the Vikings “homophobic culture” *because he was part of that culture too*. As the line in “Jesus Christ Superstar” goes:

    It doesn’t help us
    If you’re inconsistent
    They only need a small excuse
    To put us all away

    “The supporting proof was many homophobic statements on the part of certain supervisory staff”

    And what he did wasn’t anti-gay? Riiiiggghhhttt. I’ve worked for law firms, in a he-said/he-said battle, those things matter.

    “By settling for money the penalty is greater to the organization than it would otherwise have been”

    Hahahahaha, the NFL makes $9 BILLION a year in *profits*, donating some money to gay causes isn’t even a blip on the Vikings bottom line. Bad publicity yes, but the whole “financial hit” line of thought is a non-starter. Hell, the Vikings got the idiots in Minnesota to pay half for a new $1.1 billion stadium, the Kluwe settlement is pocket change for them.

    “Henry – are u from Vikings management or what?”

    No, I’m in the construction business, I’m a big NFL/sports fan who is not a fan of Chris Kluwe. I think he’s a media whore, he writes some really dumb crap on Twitter and he seems to be blind to his own faults.

    He was a mid-level punter who made way more than he should have who couldn’t accept that *one* reason he got cut is because, hey, it’s the NFL, there’s ALWAYS someone as good as you that can be had for cheaper. The Vikings got a punter who had a bit better stats for a 1/4 of the money and wasn’t a constant distraction. The fact that he couldn’t even make the roster of one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Raiders, is a clue.

    The other reason being a NFL cultural thing: it’s one thing for a QB or star running back to be out there advocating for their causes, punters are supposed to shut up and be grateful they have a job. He went on rants about getting Ray Guy in the HoF (which Guy did), he was told to put a sock in it and he continued to shoot his mouth off. I don’t know where you work, but if my boss told me not to do something and I repeatedly ignored that, I’d be looking for a new job.

    Bottom line for me is that Chris Kluwe is not some spotless white knight and to treat him as such is myopic.

  6. Henry Holland says

    Also, I’m a senile fart who tends to generally have a disdain for things deemed “stereotypically gay” and I like to posit myself as a real manly type of man.

  7. TonyJazz says

    Kluwe is quite a hero to our community. He could have shut up and possibly still be a punter in the NFL this season.

    Instead, he fought the good fight for us, and he never let up.

    What an amazing man!!!!

  8. Stefan says


    Don’t forget about the Minnesota anti-amendment campaign as well!

    I was at a gay bar in Minneapolis the other night. A shirtless pic of Chris Kluwe came up on the main screen. He is beyond deserving of the title of being a gay icon!!!

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