The Minnesota Vikings announced Friday night that they have suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer after an independent report confirmed former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations that Priefer made homophobic comments.
“In this instance, Coach Priefer fell short of what is expected,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and president Mark Wilf said in a statement via ESPN. “Accordingly, we have decided to suspend Coach Priefer without pay for the first three games of the 2014 regular season.
“In addition, he will be required to satisfactorily complete specialized workplace training that will include an emphasis on the managing of diversity and sexual orientation. If Coach Priefer completes this training and conducts himself in accordance with our workplace policies, we will consider reducing the length of his suspension by one game.”
Priefer, who had adamantly denied making any insensitive comments before the report, apologized Friday, saying “I owe an apology to many people — the Wilf family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and fans, my family, the LGBT community, Chris Kluwe and anyone else that I offended with my insensitive remark. I regret what has occurred and what I said. I am extremely sorry but I will learn from this situation and will work on educating others to create more tolerance and respect.”
The Vikings’ report also came to the conclusion that Kluwe was not released in 2013 for his activism to the LGBT community, among other issues. The team released a 29-page summary of the 150-page, but Kluwe’s attorneys are arguing to have to full report released, despite the fact that some of it is “not flattering” to Kluwe.
Kluwe has also been voicing his displeasure with the summary. The former punter sent over a dozen tweets Friday night insisting that the summary leaves out too much.
Interesting stat of the night. In a 29 page report, 3 pages deal with the actual subject.—
Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) July 19, 2014
Kluwe still plans to sue the team for maximum damages.
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
Photo via Bruce Kluckhohn/USA Today Sports