Kluwe hires lawyer as Vikings investigate allegations of homophobia

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The saga between Chris Kluwe and former Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer added a new chapter on Monday with the news that Kluwe has hired legal counsel, according to a release, via KFAN.com.

Local attorney Clayton Halunen will serve as a co-counsel with the National Center for Lesbian Rights to represent Kluwe, but the former Vikings punter hopes the situation doesn't end up in court.

“I want the truth to come out from the investigation, not in litigation,” says Kluwe.

The Vikings are conducting an independent review of Kluwe's allegations against Priefer. In an article published by Deadspin, Kluwe said Priefer repeatedly made homophobic comments to him, and his support for same-sex marriage was part of the reason he was released by the Vikings following the 2012 season.

Kluwe alleges that Priefer made the following statement during a team meeting: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

Priefer "vehemently" denied the allegations in a statement released last week.

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.

In an interview with KFAN, Kluwe encouraged Priefer to file a defamation lawsuit if he feels that his name has been slandered in any way.

"Chris Kluwe stands up for what he believes is right – even if it costs him personally to do so,” Halunen said in the release.

“It’s obvious to me – as it should be to most thinking people familiar with the situation -- that Chris paid a steep price for speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage rights in 2012 while he was a Vikings player. Ultimately it may have cost him both his job with the Vikings and his career as an NFL player, along with much emotional anguish over what he believed to be a kind of personal attack on him for his views on a vital issue of human rights."

Kluwe's goal behind his claims are “to ensure that everyone, and especially sports leaders who are role models to millions of people, respect the humanity of everyone by not belittling or denigrating people.”

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