Chris Kluwe today delivered a bold message to the Minnesota Vikings.
Kluwe maintains that his former employer wrongfully fired him because of his strong public support for gay rights.
On Friday, the Vikings revealed a partial summary of an independent investigation it conducted after Kluwe accused special teams coordinator Mike Priefer of using homophobic slurs during the 2012 season. Investigators concluded that Priefer did use insensitive slurs, and the coach has since apologized.
Priefer said he was joking when he made his "nuke" the gays comment, which he vehemently denied multiple times until Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler corroborated the remark to investigators. Kluwe, however, doesn't buy it.
The team responded by suspending Priefer for three games, which could be reduced to two if he attends individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training. Priefer has since apologized for his actions.
Not only did the investigation cast a negative light on Kluwe's abilities as a punter, but it also showed his poor taste in humor, citing a time when he made a joke about now-imprisoned former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Kluwe also made fun of the Vikings’ then Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom Kanavy, an alumnus of ‒ and former coach at ‒ Penn State University, concerning the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State situation. In his interview, Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a “Penn State victim” and to “stay away” from him while his buttocks were exposed.
Kluwe believes the Vikings used the incident as a mechanism to "smear" his image.
Kluwe and his attorney, Clayton Halunen, are expected to a file a lawsuit against the Vikings this week. The former punter said today that they'll be seeking "maximum damages."
At this point, firing Priefer would not be enough for Kluwe.
This all comes after Kluwe erupted on Twitter Friday night after the findings of the investigation were made public. The Washington Post called Kluwe's reaction "ugly."