by Aaron Wilson
July 15, 02014
The dispute between former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and his former employer is heating up.
The lawyer for Kluwe indicated today that Kluwe is going to file a lawsuit against the Vikings for not releasing the results of their six-month independent investigation into the former NFL player's allegations that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer made homophobic comments two years ago.
However, the Vikings countered that they didn't tell Kluwe's lawyer, Clayton Halunen, that they would release the report to Kluwe or the general public. A meeting is set for later this week.
According to Kluwe and his lawyer, they have been informed that the report will back up his allegations that Priefer made homophobic remarks and that the team cut him last year due to Kluwe speaking out on social causes, including supporting same-sex marriage. Priefer has previously denied Kluwe's allegations, including Priefer allegedly saying during a meeting two years ago: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island and nuke it until it glows."
"At this point, we have no choice but to file a lawsuit against the Vikings," Halunen said. "In that lawsuit, the very first thing we will get in the course of discovery will be the investigation report, and to the extent we're able, we will make that public."
The lawsuit would include allegations against the Vikings of sexual orientation discrimination, religious discrimination and interfering with contractual matters. However, the lawyer for Kluwe said the lawsuit might not be filed if the Vikigns release the report.
A potential settlement was discussed where the Vikings would have donated $1 million to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender causes.
"The Vikings said for seven months they were going to make this public, which I think is important," Kluwe said. "Sweeping it under the rug and keeping the report private isn't right."
The Vikings issued the following statement: "As Magnuson and Madel have confirmed, the Vikings have never made or broken promises as Kluwe and his attorney Clayton Halunen have claimed. The Vikings have also never engaged in the various comments that Kluwe and Halunen have provided to the media over the past six months. This Thursday, July 17, the team has a meeting scheduled between Halunen and Vikings attorneys to discuss next steps. 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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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun