Chris Kluwe: I was fired by ‘bigot’ coach Mike Priefer - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Chris Kluwe: I was fired by 'bigot' coach who opposed marriage equality

Posted: Updated:
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe

(KMSP) - Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe filed a post on Deadspin Thursday, stating his belief that he was released by the team last offseason because special teams coach Mike Priefer opposed his participation in the campaign for marriage equality.

"It's my belief, based on everything that happened over the course of 2012, that I was fired by Mike Priefer, a bigot who didn't agree with the cause I was working for, and two cowards, Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman, both of whom knew I was a good punter and would remain a good punter for the foreseeable future, as my numbers over my eight-year career had shown, but who lacked the fortitude to disagree with Mike Priefer on a touchy subject matter," Kluwe wrote.

Kluwe said the Deadspin post was a lightly-edited transcription of what he wrote down immediately after the 2013 NFL Draft last April, when the Vikings selected punter Jeff Locke in the 5th round.

His objective? "If there's one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it's to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level."

Local reports indicate Priefer is the only member of Leslie Frazier's former coaching staff with a shot at the Vikings head coaching job.

Read Kluwe's post at http://deadspin.com/i-was-an-nfl-player-until-i-was-fired-by-two-cowards-an-1493208214

THE HIGHLIGHTS

Frazier: 'Stop speaking out'

"On Sept. 8, the head coach of the Vikings, Leslie Frazier, called me into his office after our morning special-teams meeting…Once inside, Coach Frazier immediately told me that I "needed to be quiet, and stop speaking out on this stuff" (referring to my support for same-sex marriage rights)."

Support from Zygi

"On Sept. 9, before our game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the owner of the team, Zygi Wilf, came up to me, shook my hand, and told me: "Chris, I'm proud of what you've done. Please feel free to keep speaking out. I just came from my son's best friend's wedding to his partner in New York, and it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen."

Priefer's turning point

"We were laughing over one of the recent articles I had written supporting same-sex marriage rights, and one of my teammates made a joking remark about me leading the Pride parade. As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: ‘We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.' The room grew intensely quiet, and none of the players said a word for the rest of the meeting. The atmosphere was decidedly tense."

VIKINGS STATEMENT

The Minnesota Vikings were made aware of Chris Kluwe's allegations for the first time today. We take them very seriously and will thoroughly review this matter.

As an organization, the Vikings consistently strive to create a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for all of our players, coaches and front office personnel. We do not tolerate discrimination at any level. The team has long respected our players' and associates' individual rights, and, as Chris specifically stated, Vikings ownership supports and promotes tolerance, including on the subject of marriage equality. Because he was identified with the Vikings, Chris was asked to be respectful while expressing his opinions. Team ownership and management also repeatedly emphasized to Chris that the Vikings would not impinge on his right to express his views.

Any notion that Chris was released from our football team due to his stance on marriage equality is entirely inaccurate and inconsistent with team policy. Chris was released strictly based on his football performance.

We will have further comment at the appropriate time.

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices