Related: Read the 29-page memo on the investigation.
The Minnesota Vikings have suspended special teams coach Mike Priefer three games following an investigation into homophobic remarks directed at former punter Chris Kluwe. The team said that Priefer also apologized to Kluwe.
Kluwe, who is straight but a staunch supporter of gay rights, plans on suing the team Monday after negotiations broke down. He wants the team's investigation made public and wanted Priefer suspended four to eight games. He also wanted the Vikings to donate $1 million to LGBT groups, but the team countered with $100,000, USA Today NFL writer Tom Pelissero reports.
Multiple news outlets say that Priefer's suspension will be reduced to two games if he completes sensitivity training.
Writing in Deadspin earlier this year, Kluwe had this to say about Priefer:
Near the end of November (2012), several teammates and I were walking into a specialist meeting with Coach Priefer. We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense. I had never had an interaction that hostile with any of my teammates on this issue—some didn't agree with me, but our conversations were always civil and respectful. Afterward, several told me that what Mike Priefer had said was "messed up."
Kluwe was released by the team in 2013 and he contends it was because of his activism on behalf of gay rights. The team contends is was performance-based. From Pelissero's Twitter feed:
The employment law firm #Vikings retained to analyze report says it "fails to establish" Kluwe was cut for his activism on marriage equality— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 19, 2014
Despite Prifer's suspension, Kluwe is still planning on filing suit, USA Today reports:
Kluwe's attorney, Clayton Halunen, told USA TODAY Sports ... the plan is for Kluwe to file a lawsuit next week in Minnesota court naming Priefer and the Vikings organizations as defendants and believe they can get a $10 million jury verdict.
"I think it's done," Halunen told USA TODAY Sports. "They had that opportunity (to settle). They didn't take advantage of it. There will be litigation. The first thing we'll request is a copy of the full report and we are going to do our best to make it public."
Kluwe tweeted this Friday night:
Oh, and in case anyone thinks this is some sort of cash grab, we'll be going for max damages and all money I get will go to LBGTQ charities.— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) July 18, 2014