Vikings, former punter Kluwe, finalize settlement
Former punter Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings reached a settlement that calls for the team to donate to multiple groups that support gay rights.
"As Chris always stated, this is not about money but about changing the culture of professional sports that tolerates homophobia at any level," said Clayton Halunen, Kluwe's attorney, in a news release. "For Chris, this agreement with the Vikings is a big step forward in that direction."
Kluwe will drop the threat of a lawsuit against the Vikings' organization. No financial terms of the deal were made public, but the team confirmed the two sides settled in a statement.
"I'm pleased that the issue has been resolved," Kluwe said. "I intend to continue to speak out on behalf of marriage equality, and I am pleased to be a part of the impact the Vikings material charitable contributions will have on LGBT and related causes."
The Vikings will donate to five groups over the next five years, and Halunen said the settlement figure is "substantial," though Kluwe does not receive one cent.
"As a family we have long-supported equal rights causes, including marriage equality," said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf in the release. "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 had argued that his release was based on his support for gay marriage and that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer had directed disparaging remarks toward him. The Vikings contended that Kluwe's release was based solely on his performance.
Priefer received a three-game suspension, which will begin when the regular season opens, and he will donate $100,000 to gay rights charitable and educational organizations. The ban could be reduced to two games upon completion of anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training.
Kluwe has been out of the NFL since being cut by the Oakland Raiders last year.