Chris Kluwe, a former punter for the Minnesota Vikings, plans to sue the NFL franchise over the manner of his release from the team.

Chris Kluwe To Sue Vikings

Kluwe announced his lawsuit with his attorney, Clayton Halunen, on Tuesday, reported USA Today Sports. Among the allegations in the suit are religious discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, defamation and tortious interference with contractual obligations – all of which supposedly led to Kluwe’s release in May 2013.

At the center of the lawsuit are claims that Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer took issue with Kluwe's stance on gay marriage and resultant activism for the cause. Kluwe alleges that Priefer repeatedly directed intolerant language at him and made homophobic comments that were ignored by higher-ups. One such remark Priefer is said to have made was: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

Kluwe’s attorney claims to have knowledge that the findings not only show that there were other witnesses willing to corroborate Kluwe’s account of Priefer’s remark, but that under pressure, Priefer had actually admitted to saying it. Halunen claims that Priefer also harassed Kluwe individually for being agnostic.

The plans for the lawsuit were sparked after Kluwe, who is straight, and Halunen learned that the Vikings had “no intent” to release the findings of the investigation into Kluwe’s initial accusations about Priefer. In the media conference that announced the lawsuit, Halunen suggested that should the findings be released, Kluwe would be willing to drop the suit.

The Vikings have dismissed Halunen and Kluwe’s claims that they refused to release the report, saying in a statement, “At no time during the July 14 meeting did [attorney Chris] Madel, [Eric] Magnuson, or [Jennifer] Robbins tell Halunen that the Vikings 'would not provide a copy of the report to either Kluwe or the public' as Halunen's press release of this morning states."

The statement continued, "As we have consistently communicated throughout this process, the Vikings will have further comment when the investigation is entirely complete and the team has made determinations on next steps.”


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