Posted January 07, 2014

Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe retains legal counsel

NFL
Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe averaged 44.4 on punts in eight seasons. (Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

Former NFL punter Chris Kluwe averaged 44.4 on punts in eight seasons. (Tom Dahlin/Getty Images)

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe retained legal counsel after he claimed last week the team released him because of his views on same-sex marriage, reports Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Kluwe also said that Vikings special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer used homophobic language during the 2012 season. He also called Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and former coach Leslie Frazier “cowards.”

Kluwe wrote the article that was posted on Deadspin.com.

BURKE: Ex-Vikings punter Chris Kluwe rips ‘coward’ Leslie Frazier, ‘bigot’ Mike Priefer

The Vikings said that they will investigate the claims, while Preifer denied making homophobic comments.

“I want the truth to come out from the investigation, not in litigation,” Kluwe said in a statement released Monday.

Kluwe was released by Minnesota last May.  The team says it was because of football reasons.

“Chris Kluwe stands up for what he believes is right, even if it costs him personally to do so,” Minneapolis lawyer Clayton Halunen, who will represent Kluwe, said in a statement. “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.


68 comments
Starstruck
Starstruck

Pay an attorney, and he will make whatever outrageous claims you ask him to. The attorney cannot be sued for libel or slander because he is just repeating the claims of his client. 

UBERTAXTHERICH
UBERTAXTHERICH

Close battle for bigot of the year between MidwestGolfFan & Muser.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

He's a sorehead who got cut for being a) not good enough b) a loudmouth.  It sounds as though the gay lobby (itself a creature of the destroy-America left-wing Soros cabal) is using him as front-man for the gay lobby.  Forward.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

I'm curious why many posters are so reluctant to find out the truth in this case. Football benefits greatly by public funding, and they should be held accountable for obeying the laws about having a fair workplace as other companies are. It's pretty clear someone is lying here. Why not find out who?

jj55
jj55

Kluwe was a decent punter. So were a lot of guys who got cut. Does he also plan to sue the Raiders, the last team that cut him? He has another 4-6 weeks of notoriety and then fades into well deserved oblivion.

davetheG
davetheG

He wasn't a great punter, but he wasn't horrible either. He was in the league 8-9 years or something like that. He wouldn't have lasted that long if he was that lousy.  I think he would have been picked up by another team if he would learn to keep his mouth shut. It would be like a person working for Miller-Coors to be a staunch and open advocate against drinking and wanting prohibition brought back. If he worked more on his game and less working of his mouth he might not be sitting on a couch somewhere.

BarrySoetoro
BarrySoetoro

Oh my,he used homophobic language!!!!! STFU little queenie.

x72
x72

Looks like Mike Priefer will never work in the NFL again.

thomasoverley
thomasoverley

guess he waiting a season to see if he could get picked up on a team and decided let me sue cause what the heck ill get all the attention I crave

BillieBob
BillieBob

Interesting how many keep saying he was a "marginal player". In his own account, if you bothered to read it, he cites statistics that put him right in the middle of the pack for punters. Do you have other stats that say he's lying? Others say he was "insubordinate" on the field. Kluwe claims he followed every football-related order he was given. If you say he didn't, give an example.


Was he cut because he was too expensive for a middle of the road punter? Maybe. But when the special teams coach downgraded his performance rating even though his stats hadn't changed, then maybe you look for other reasons, too. Funny how the downgrade came after his pro gay marriage letter. Funny how the guy downgrading him is accused of making numerous, blatant homophobic remarks in front of Kluwe AND other teammates. 


I've read Kluwe's stuff before. I think he's extremely opinionated, blunt, and very controversial. But I don't think he's a liar. In fact, I don't think he cares if any of us disagree with his social views. As for his behavior as a football player and teammate, I think he cares about that a lot, which is why he's trying to clear the air on what happened. He goes into a lot of specifics that make his case. For those who doubt him, what have you got?


You can diss Kluwe because he's a loud mouth, or you can diss him because you think outright bigotry by an NFL coach is just fine -- but unless you have proof that he's lied about anything he's said, then you're just making stuff up.


The Vikings owner sounds like he cares about haters on his team and wouldn't have it. I know the NFL cares about it. And that's why I think Kluwe wrote his explanation -- because he wants to see a bigot coach kicked out of the sport and head coaches and GMs who enable bigots pay a price for it. 


The good news is that if a real investigation is done, the bigot coach will get found out, assuming the other players who heard his comments are willing to speak up. But I can't imagine Kluwe saying that teammates heard what he heard, unless he was WANTED them to speak up. And why would he leave himself open to that if he was lying? We'll see... 




giosbiz
giosbiz

The other problem is that Kluwe is a nobody.  In order to change any culture in the NFL, it's gonna take a Tom Brady or Drew Brees, somebody of note. 


As a punter, Kluwe probably isn't even respected as a football player:  his job is to kick the ball and avoid contact with any other players.  I doubt anybody in the league takes him seriously.

giosbiz
giosbiz

Does he have an ounce of proof that it was for non-football reasons?  Not having been subsequently cut by the Oakland Raiders would have helped his argument.


Even if it's true, then so what?  A team can cut a player for any reason.  Obviously, they felt that is contributions to the team were insufficient to compensate for the distractions and unwanted publicity.


That goes for guys like T.O. and Tebow, also.  

Andrew21
Andrew21

SURPRISE! Did anyone think this whole ordeal was about anything other than money?

JonathanRoach
JonathanRoach

If Kluwe was released for other than football reasons, he would have landed a job someplace else after being released.  Oh wait, he was a Raider during preseason, but got replaced by another rookie punter.  Truth is, Kluwe - or "Warcraft" as he is known to some Minnesotans - was a decent player whose performance declined and purposefully made himself a distraction, and not just the gay marriage.  He had the whole - get Ray Guy in HOF campaign, and altered his uniform to make a statement.  He refused to kick away from Devin Hester and other punt returners despite coaches tell him to kick away and out of bounds.  


I can highlight this enough, that he was given another chance with Raiders and they cut him. The writing is on the wall for him that he is past his prime and can't accept it.

JustJunMC
JustJunMC

I am on the fence on this until I see evidence to back up anything and see the investigation is pure.  


Kluwe or the coach is lying.  


It is one of those two.  


Kluwe did get replaced by a punter with slightly better stats and cost less, which is Locke ($1.5 compared to Locke's 0.5 million). 


I also feel some are jumping the gun.  


The NFL is still a workplace and what you do for the workplace and in the workplace and affects the workplace and you are expected to do a job, which is play football.  


As a public figure you have to watch your mouth and how you act.  


Even if you are for gay rights, Kluwe spouting that nonsense is unnecessary because to be honest, we are bombarded daily with people from both sides arguing about it everyday where nobody cares about it anymore.  


Why does political agenda always have to infiltrate everything?  


IMO politics and religion have no place in the workplace because workplaces are diverse while politics and religion always leads to fighting and arguments and wasted time, which could be utilized to accomplish the work.  


Unless you are a high performer at work, you will not get away with as much.  


Mike Vick, is an important football player to a team, hence he can get away with more.  



DennyCrane
DennyCrane

Victimology. He's not gay so he can't sue for that. Ah, but cut because he supports gays - well that's a whole new section of civil rights to be litigated. Couldn't possibly be because he's an underperforming crap punter could it? Nah, gotta be the gay thing.

rodp236
rodp236

@UBERTAXTHERICHHope your trailer has been staying warm after they cut off the heat last week...............

BillieBob
BillieBob

@MidwestGolfFan 

Golly gee. Someone who actually thinks gay rights is "destroying America". How about sticking your teabaggie head in the microwave -- leave the tinfoil hat on.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@BillRobinson 

Ah yes, the old "truth is out there" canard.

Kluwe MUST be telling the truth because you sooooo baaaadly want it to be true, facts be damned.

jj55
jj55

@BillRobinsonGood luck proving that Kluwe lost his job because of "fair workplace" violations. Unlike the middle manager claiming discrimination, the NFL workplace uses statistics to define performance. A thousand other kickers have lost their job with stats similar to Kluwe. Nothing here except noise.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

@jj55 - I guess we'll find out. Has your search for truth provided you with any information that indicates he plans to sue the Raiders (or anyone else)? He has the respect of many people, and I doubt you have similar respect. Who the hell is jj55 and what have you posted that elicits respect?

Bucky182
Bucky182

@BillieBob You said it yourself. He was a middle-of-the-road punter. Those guys are a dime a dozen. Why pay for a middle-of-the-road punter when you can draft one and pay him the league minimum? That's why he was cut. Simple mathematics really. I could be totally off base with this but it seems as if Kluwe is a little bitter about being cut and playing the  "I support gay rights" card to try and stay relevant.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

@BillieBob - Very well stated comments - reasonable and objective.

RSpreier
RSpreier

@BillieBob No NFL team will, or can afford to, keep less talented players simply because their starter is pro gay marriage. Kluwe was cut because they had a cheaper option that would work just as well.

JonathanRoach
JonathanRoach

@BillieBob As a Viking fan, the Viking staff brought in competition for him to light a fire under him and this was well before the activism started.  He was insubordinate as he was told to not kick towards several players and did just that.  In addition, altered his uniform with "vote Ray" stickers after being warned by coaches and the the league.  


to be honest, I dont care about the special teams coach since our head coach got fired and most of his staff will be replaced by the new coach's staff.  


I can't say he is lying about what the coach said or didn't say, but he is severely deluded in thinking that he was released solely on activism

FDowney
FDowney

@giosbizUhm, he was cut by the Raiders because the guy they kept was only the best punter in the NFL this year.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@Andrew21 If it means a homophobic bigot costs his employer lots of dough and loses his job I'm all for it.

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

@JonathanRoach It's completely irrelevant whether he didn't catch on in Oakland, it's a completely different situation. If he was fired because his boss is a homophobic bigot and didn't want him around, that is relevant.

stagger
stagger

@JonathanRoach Exactly. Basically, at this point in his career, he's a marginal punter and a royal PITA. Not a good combination for employment...

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

@JustJun - Hopefully you're right about learning more accurate information as this case unfolds. I believe Kluwe comes across as being a truthful man with integrity. There is too much in the news that NFL teams are frequently run without playing by the rules that any well-run company should adhere to. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar industry that benefits greatly by their access to public funds. I applaud Kluwe having the courage to support same sex marriage and blow the whistle on the frequent macho posturing that is so common in football. Clearly the Vikings have not been a successful team, and this case is consistent with their record.

giosbiz
giosbiz

@JustJunMC agreed.  if you're gonna be an activist in the NFL, then do it for something uncontroversial like fighting child obesity or poverty.  

ReedWright
ReedWright

@DennyCraneIf he's a crap punter, as you say, then why replace him with another crap punter?  Don't the Vikings want to improve?  Isn't that the goal of getting out of the NFC North's toilet bowl?  Yeah, it's gotta be the gay thing.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@DennyCrane Considering he wasn't an under performing crap punter then I guess you are right, it couldn't have been that.  

davylightning
davylightning

@BillieBob@MidwestGolfFanNo, he actually said that the left wing cabal led by George Soros is doing so. If you're going to be snarky and insulting, it's better to be accurate. Otherwise you just look reactionary. Like you just did.

BillRobinson
BillRobinson

@jj55 - Having a middle manager (the assistant coach) making comments about nuking all gays doesn't exactly add credibility to a claim that the decision was all about performance. The NFL collects all kinds of statistics that fail to tell the whole story - like a quarterback can't be successful if he is as short as Bree's or Wilson. So what makes you think it's all noise? What information do you have that has any credibility?

@MidwestGolfFan - You've already posted a bunch of "facts" that show your respect for truth.

So, again, why are you both so opposed to find out the truth?

BillieBob
BillieBob

@RSpreier @BillieBob 


You know, anybody can just pull stuff out of their butts and act like they know exactly what happened and why. The only ones who actually know are Kluwe, the coaches and the GM.

BillieBob
BillieBob

@JonathanRoach @BillieBob 


He never said he was released "solely" on his activism. In his article, he acknowledged that he made more than the guy they brought in and that was a legitimate football consideration in who they kept. What he said was that being downgraded by the ST coach was after the issue of gay marriage came up, even though his stats didn't warrant it.


If you care more about Kluwe having the gall to speak out than you do about a bigotted coach in the NFL, that's up to you. I assume it is since that's all you're writing about. Each to his own...

JonathanRoach
JonathanRoach

@BillieBob  In addition, from The Sports network,


"...Unlike Longwell, Kluwe still had a pretty big leg when he left Minneapolis, but the Vikings had given up a ton of returns since he became the team's punter. Some of them have due to Kluwe's struggles in directional kicking and his frustrating habit of outkicking his coverage down the middle of the field, giving big-time return men multiple options.

Few who follow the Vikings will forget their visit to New Orleans in 2008 when Reggie Bush returned two punts for touchdowns and nearly had a third before tripping himself in the open field. Yeah, the coverage units for Minny were awful that season but it seemed like Brad Childress' head was going to explode if Kluwe kicked it right down Broadway one more time.

To be fair, Kluwe did average a career-high 39.7 net yards per punt in 2012, but that was only good for 17th in the NFL, and he struggled to pin opponents deep. His 18 punts inside the 20-yard line were a dismal 31st in the league. Fast forward to 2013 and Locke, who again was a disappointment, averaged 39.2 yards net in his first try at the NFL level and trumped Kluwe with 23 downed inside the 20.

That's not a significant upgrade but certainly a positive development considering the fact Locke comes cheaper and figures to improve moving forward."

RSpreier
RSpreier

@Joebuckster @Andrew21 Why don't we let the investigation take it's course before jumping to conclusions about the coach. Kluwe has several reasons to lie about the ST coach, including money. Is there any other evidence against him other than what Kluwe alleges?

JonathanRoach
JonathanRoach

@Joebuckster @JonathanRoach He is alleged to be a homophobic coach.  They talked about releasing him the previous year and brought in competition before all this gay marriage talk was raised.  Bottom line, he was not worth the money, was insubordinate (on field) and cheaper option was available.  If a subpar football was gay and was cut, could he come back and say the only reason he was cut because he was gay?

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@BillRobinson  

This is the NFL, not a Democrat Party coffee hour.

Why do you left-wing activists want to stick politics into everything?

I suspect you'd be singing a different tune (foaming at the mouth uncontrollably, not to put too fine a point on it) if Kluwe were a Tea Party activist.  Yes, they are the same -- it's just that people like you are too self-righteous and dishonest (yes, wear it, pal, 'cause it's true) to see it.

giosbiz
giosbiz

@ReedWright @DennyCrane for starters, the other punter is cheaper and younger.  he has a bigger upside.


more importantly, Kluwe was also cut by the Raiders.  That crushes any type of argument about it being for non-football reasons.  

BillieBob
BillieBob

@MidwestGolfFan @BillieBob @RSpreier 

Nope. Never said I did know. But from everything I've read, it sounds like Kluwe has more credability than the ST coach...


Now you can put your comment back in YOUR butt.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@BillieBob@RSpreier 

But you, on the other hand, DO know (hahaha).  Because that's what allows you to put down people who disagree with your own views, right?  Divine (or diabolical) knowledge?


MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@BillieBob@JonathanRoach@Joebuckster  

The poster whom you are insulting quoted articles describing Kluwe's shortcomings/insubordination/incompetence.

You've got a pro-gay agenda -- just be honest about it and  admit it.  Stop hiding behind this phoney-baloney "objectivity" while disregarding inconvenient facts.

BillieBob
BillieBob

@JonathanRoach @Joebuckster 


How was he insubordinate on the field? According to him, he didn't do anything in his job as a punter that was insubordinate. You can say "he's lying," but unless you can prove it, so what? 

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@BillRobinson 

"You're fired!" -- Company I.

"You only fired me 'cause I support gay marriage!"

"We know about your past circumstances.  This company has a history of embracing cast-offs and bad boys.  We'll give you a chance." -- Company II.  "You're fired!"

"You only fired me 'cause I support gay marriage!"

Ummm...yeah, whatevs.

You're a partisan obsessive too dishonest to see the truth.



BillRobinson
BillRobinson

@giosbiz - The Oakland example does nothing of the sort. Why wouldn't you want to know the truth about this case? What's your motive? You clearly know little factual information as it stands now.