Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer Denys Chris Kluwe’s Allegations of Homophobic Language

Chris KluweMinnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer issued a statement Thursday afternoon to “vehemently deny” accusations that former punter Chris Kluwe made against him in a Deadspin article.

Kluwe wrote in a story posted earlier in the day detailing instances from his final year with the team that led him to believe he was cut because of his gay-rights activism rather than his football performance. While Kluwe also attacked former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and current general manager Rick Spielman, he was most critical of Priefer.

Kluwe accused Priefer of using homophobic language around him. Kluwe called Priefer a “bigot” and closed his post by saying he hopes Priefer “never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level.”

Here’s Priefer’s full response, which¬†he released to several Vikings beat writers, via the Star Tribune:

“I vehemently deny today’s allegations made by Chris Kluwe.

“I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member.

“The primary reason I entered coaching was to affect people in a positive way. As a coach, I have always created an accepting environment for my players, including Chris, and have looked to support them both on and off the field.

“The comments today have not only attacked my character and insulted my professionalism, but they have also impacted my family. While my career focus is to be a great professional football coach, my number one priority has always been to be a protective husband and father to my wife and children.

“I will continue to work hard for the Minnesota Vikings, the Wilf family and all of our loyal fans.”