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Former punter Chris Kluwe to sue Vikings

Discussion in 'OFF TOPIC' started by Prime Time, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Prime Time RODerator

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    Chris Kluwe to File Suit Against Vikings Over Refusal to Disclose Investigation Findings
    Posted Tuesday, July 15th 2014
    By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com@AjKFAN

    Minneapolis, MN -
    Chris Kluwe will announce his intentions to file suit against the Minnesota Vikings at his press conference Tuesday morning.

    A former Vikings punter, Kluwe brought allegations against the Vikings nearly six months ago claiming that Special Teams coach Mike Priefer had made "homophobic verbal attacks on him as a member of the team in 2012." The team then kicked off an internal investigation before informing Kluwe on Monday that they would not be releasing their investigations' final report to Kluwe or the public.

    "It's transparently obvious to me that the Vikings are covering up the truth," said Kluwe's attorney Clayton Halunen. "We have no choice but to litigate at this point. Kluwe willingly cooperated with the Vikings' investigation - all he ever wanted was for the truth to come out.

    "It's outrageous to me that the Vikings would choose to hide the facts of the investigation from me and from their fans," Kluwe said.

    It is Kluwe's belief that he was blackballed by the organization and in turn, the NFL for his outspoken stance on gay marriage rights.

    "Minnesota Vikings fans are the real losers in this sad affair," Kluwe said. "The fans deserve to know that what I said about Priefer and the way the Vikings let me go was the truth. I was persecuted and then fired for standing up for what I believe in, all because some small-minded, bigoted people think that homophobia is okay in the NFL. It is not okay, and now it seems like we'll have to go to court to force the Vikings to admit that.
    Kluwe to sue Vikings
    Posted by Mike Florio on July 15, 2014

    [​IMG]AP

    In a press conference that likely will have begun by the time I press “publish” on this post, former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe will announce that he plans to sue the Vikings as a result of the team’s failure to make public the report of the investigation regarding his claim of homophobic comments and a discriminatory animus against Kluwe when he was cut last year.

    “It’s transparently obvious to me that the Vikings are covering up the truth,” Kluwe’s attorney, Clayton Halunen, told KFAN. “We have no choice but to litigate at this point. Kluwe willingly cooperated with the Vikings’ investigation — all he ever wanted was for the truth to come out.”

    “It’s outrageous to me that the Vikings would choose to hide the facts of the investigation from me and from their fans,” Kluwe added. “Minnesota Vikings fans are the real losers in this sad affair. The fans deserve to know that what I said about Priefer and the way the Vikings let me go was the truth. I was persecuted and then fired for standing up for what I believe in, all because some small-minded, bigoted people think that homophobia is OK in the NFL. It is not OK, and now it seems like we’ll have to go to court to force the Vikings to admit that.”

    Going to court will introduce plenty of other angles and complications into the situation, possibly leading to one or more unintended outcomes. Kluwe presumably understands that. If doesn’t know it now, he inevitably will.

    Vikings contend no promises were made or broken to Kluwe
    Posted by Mike Florio on July 15, 2014

    [​IMG]Getty Images

    Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe claims that the team promised to release publicly the report generated by the investigation regarding Kluwe’s allegations of homophobic comments and that he was cut because of his activism for gay-rights. The Vikings say they made no such promises.

    “[Lawyers Eric] Magnuson, [Chris] Madel and others spent nearly six months conducting an exhaustive investigation,” the Vikings said in a statement posted on the team’s website. “After the Vikings were given the investigative materials from Magnuson and Madel, in order to further maintain objectivity and integrity, the team engaged a nationally-prominent law firm in employment matters — Littler Mendelson P.C. — to evaluate employment law matters and provide findings and recommendations to the Vikings. Those recommendations are to be provided to the team this week.”

    (Actually, Littler Mendelson P.C. is a prominent law firm that represents the interests of management in employment matters. Their analysis undoubtedly will be influenced by that perspective.)

    “As Magnuson and Madel confirmed today, the Vikings have never made or broken promises as Kluwe and his attorney Clayton Halunen have claimed,” the Vikings added in their online statement. “The Vikings have also never engaged in the various comments that Kluwe and [his lawyer] have provided to the media over the past six months. This Thursday, July 17, the team has a meeting scheduled between [Kluwe's lawyer] and Vikings attorneys to discuss next steps.”

    A separate statement released apparently by a P.R. firm retained by the lawyers hired to conduct the investigation echoes that position.

    “Chris Madel, Eric Magnuson, and Jennifer Robbins of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. met with Chris Kluwe’s attorney, Clayton Halunen, July 14 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the status of the independent investigation and to arrange a meeting between Halunen and Vikings representatives for Thursday, July 17 to continue that discussion,” Jaffe P.R. said in an email sent to PFT. “At no time during the July 14 meeting did Madel, Magnuson, or Robbins tell Halunen that the Vikings ‘would not provide a copy of the report to either Kluwe or the public’ as Halunen’s press release of this morning states.

    At the meeting, Halunen agreed to meet with Vikings representatives on Thursday, and that meeting is still scheduled. It is anticipated that issues relating to the investigation will be discussed at that meeting.”
    With Kluwe committed to suing the Vikings, the Thursday meeting may not matter. Whether the lawsuit actually happens could hinge largely on the outcome of the conversation between Kluwe’s lawyer and the Vikings’ lawyers — especially if the Vikings lawyers show Kluwe’s lawyer a little bit of the sword that will be wielded if/when Kluwe decided to go through with his plan to file a civil complaint.
     
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  2. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    If he was being blackballed, why would the Raiders have signed him and then cut him later?

    Kluwe just became not worth his price tag when compared to younger cheaper alternatives. He wasn't the first, he won't be the last. He chooses to blame his outspoken political opinions (not realizing that they were a distraction to the team) rather than that bit of football reality.
     
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  3. Alan Well-Known Member

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    Good luck to you Kluwe!
    upload_2014-7-15_13-52-10.jpeg
     
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    Rambition and flv like this.
  4. DCH This IS my 'oh' face.

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    Consider the stories of his being berated by the ST coach for his beliefs on homosexuality and there's enough probable cause to go around.
     
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  5. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    But to me, that's two separate issues.

    Were some slurs flying around the Vikings' facility? Probably.

    Does that mean Kluwe was cut as a result of his outspoken views? No.

    Has that caused other teams to not consider him? That's ridiculous.
     
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  6. DCH This IS my 'oh' face.

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    The blacklisting thing is unlikely, but I believe that because there was so much reported activity that could very, very easily be construed as harassment directed at him for his political opinions, the termination can be argued to have been political strong-arming. Which is, I believe, quite illegal.

    Although the team can argue that they told him to keep his opinions out of public forums so long as he is employed by and representing the Minnesota Vikings, so they can counter that his termination was due to insubordination; effectively the same reason a lady a few weeks ago was fired for, after spending months preaching evangelical Christianity to people at her teller's spot, after being warned by the bank to keep that to her own time.

    But then, the banker lady was doing this on company time, and I wonder if the Vikings can reasonably claim that they have the right to fire a player for voicing his opinions on touchy subjects on his own time.
     
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  7. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    Given that Kluwe is a public figure and is always seen to represent the Vikings (while he was a player for the team), he'd have a tough sell on the "He's on his own time" argument.

    And the subsequent signing and cutting by the Raiders really kills any hope he has of showing that the Vikings cut wasn't about his football talent IMO.

    He might have something on the harassment charge (though it will be more difficult since he's not professing to be gay himself), but I don't see anything major about it. I just see a guy who realizes the NFL dream is over and just wants a little more cash and a little more time in the spotlight.
     
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  8. LazyWinker Active Member

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    Is it possible that Kluwe upset people or rubbed them the wrong way for reasons other than him being an activist for gay marriage? He's not the only football player to go to a Pride Parade and/or publicly show support for gay marriage. He's the guy that called Brees, Mankins, Manning, and Jackson douchebags during the lockout. He mocked, comically, the NFL's safety policies and has never shied away from giving an opinion.
     
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  9. flv 

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    The perception is that Kluwe is claiming some form of harassment and that this harassment is denying him employment in the NFL. If Kluwe is trying to use his relevance in the NFL community to make it easier for gay people in the NFL in the future then I applaud his agenda. Unfortunately it looks like he's just using that agenda to extend his relevance in the NFL community. I hope it's just bad PR.
     
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  10. Rambition Member

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    i'm going to have to side with the player on this one.

    if they are as squeaky clean as they claim they are, they ought to have made public the results of their investigation immediately.
     
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  11. blackbart Well-Known Member

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    So he could not cut it on talent and now he is gravely offended about someone's remarks so he calls them homophobic which is certainly not the correct description and not any better that what he wants to sue for.

    Maybe he needs to learn what tolerance is put on his big boy pants and move along. :rolleyes:
     
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  12. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, he's suing them to make the results public. I see nothing wrong with that. Not sure why any of you guys would attack Kluwe in this.
     
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  13. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    Because he needs to get over himself. His talent not matching his paycheck got him fired, not his political beliefs (though making himself a constant distraction over such beliefs didn't help him either.)

    In the end, the only valid complaint he has is that NFL facilities aren't bastions of political correctness. To which I respond "Um... oh noes?"
     
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  14. mr.stlouis Well-Known Member

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    So is the punter gay or what?
     
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  15. blackbart Well-Known Member

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    Maybe because he is whinning like a spoiled child because someone offended him with a bad word :eek:
     
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  16. PrometheusFaulk Active Member

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    Is he suing for financial restitution, or is the purpose just to make the report public?
     
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  17. ljramsfan Active Member

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    That is the question I have
     
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  18. LesBaker Mr. Savant

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    Well because it is a privately owned business they are not required to do that, this won't last 15 minutes in a courtroom.

    also his political views and views on homosexuality have nothing to do with him not playing...... he could be sucking the ST coaches dick in his office and if he could still kick nobody would care and he would still be on the team. Plenty of players have done a lot worse than express controversial viewpoints and have still play if they were able to.

    He's getting some very bad advice or he's just a dumbass, or both.
     
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  19. jrry32 Well-Known Member

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    That's not 100% true. NFL teams are in a gray area since they're given certain exemptions and rights.

    Why are people hung up on why he's not playing? The guy isn't suing the Vikings for a roster spot. He wants the investigation made public.

    In what other field is it acceptable for a manager to direct slurs at employees? He has a right to be angry.

    Why shouldn't they be? Or at minimum, why shouldn't a player-coach relationship be?

    In any other field, would a manager calling an employee a "faggot" or a slur like that be condoned?

    Whether it's talent or not is irrelevant. If that coach was guilty of it, the Vikings should be upfront about it.

    You seem to be way too hung up on the reason why he was cut.
     
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  20. Boffo97 Well-Known Member

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    If he left the idea that he was cut for having a different political opinion than his coaches out of it, he doesn't have much of a case or even standing to sue even if the coach used some words he didn't like.

    Comparing a football practice field, locker room or field of play to an office is probably not going to fly well. It's a very different and testosterone filled environment.
     
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