Gay Minnesota state senator Scott Dibble, the author of the state's marriage equality law, is speaking out now about claims by former Minnesota Viking punter Chris Kluwe about his firing from the Vikings in 2012.
It's my belief, based on everything that happened over the course of 2012, that I was fired by Mike Priefer, a bigot who didn't agree with the cause I was working for, and two cowards, Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman, both of whom knew I was a good punter and would remain a good punter for the foreseeable future, as my numbers over my eight-year career had shown, but who lacked the fortitude to disagree with Mike Priefer on a touchy subject matter.
“In Chris Kluwe’s eight years with the Vikings, not only was he an outstanding contributor to the team on the field – setting several team records— he was also a tremendous contributor off the field, for his advocacy for freedom and dignity for all Minnesotans. His decision to publicly announce his opposition to the marriage amendment came at a critical time, when many in similar positions of leadership were afraid. His energy and humor helped give momentum to supporters of equality and helped ensure defeat of the marriage amendment.
Kluwe’s allegations raise very serious concerns about the culture within the Minnesota Vikings organization. As a business partner of the state of Minnesota, we have strong expectations that the team uphold the values of tolerance and equality that we all share. I am encouraged to some degree by the team's statement in response, but the charges warrant a thorough investigation. If shown to be true, decisive action must be taken.
I am pleased to know that team owner Zygi Wilf supports marriage equality, and I hope he will use his position as the head of this organization to foster an atmosphere that allows the Minnesota Vikings to accept and value all of its players and coaches.”