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Friday, August 22, 2014


Former punter Chris Kluwe has reached a legal settlement with the team that fired him after he became an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriage.

The Minnesota Vikings will contribute an undisclosed amount of money to several LGBT organizations and reaffirmed a commitment to the team's policy of zero tolerance for any discrimination and harassment due to someone's race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

The team also promises to work to build awareness and understanding of LGBT issues in professional football and in sports in general.

'As a family we have long-supported equal rights causes, including marriage equality,' team owner and president Mark Wilf said in a statement. 'We are glad a resolution of this matter has been reached, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to create positive awareness of these issues.'

Kluwe issued his own statement saying: 'I intend to continue to speak out on behalf of marriage equality. I am pleased to be a part of the impact the Vikings material charitable contributions will have on LGBT and related causes.'

Kluwe, who is straight, went public in January with allegations that special teams coach Mike Priefer had made gay slurs at him saying at one point: 'We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.'

Kluwe also said Priefer would ask him if I had written any letters defending "the gays" recently and denounce as disgusting the idea that two men would kiss, and he would constantly belittle or demean any idea of acceptance or tolerance.

Kluwe threatened to sue the team for $10 million for defamation of character and emotional distress if the organization didn't punish Priefer.

Following an investigation, the team suspended Priefer for three games which Kluwe deemed a mere slap on the wrist.
Priefer initially denied making any homophobic comments but has since admitted to making at least one comment and apologized.
Vikings Owner and Chairman Zygi Wilf issued a statement saying the team appreciated Kluwe's contributions to the team during his eight seasons in on.

' ... He established many team records as our punter, and we wish him and his family the best in the future,' Zygi Wilf stated.

He added: 'In regards to this matter, our focus remains on maintaining a culture of tolerance, inclusion and respect, and creating the best workplace environment for our players, coaches and staff.'


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