Vikings, Kluwe still in settlement talks

July, 17, 2014
Jul 17
6:35
PM ET
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings will continue settlement discussions with Clayton Halunen, the attorney for former punter Chris Kluwe, after a Thursday meeting about an independent investigation of Kluwe's allegations against the team. The two sides did not reach a deal on Thursday, but are expected to be in contact soon.

Kluwe, who claimed in a Jan. 2 Deadspin piece that special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer made homophobic remarks during the 2012 season and that the team cut him for his support of same-sex marriage, said in a Tuesday news conference he would file a lawsuit if the Vikings did not release the results of a six-month investigation into the punter's allegations. Halunen said on Tuesday that the Vikings had informed them they would not release the report to the punter or the public; both the Vikings and investigators released statements saying they never made such a statement to Halunen, and Kluwe softened his statement in a Wednesday interview with the fan blog Vikefans.com. He said the Vikings had only told Halunen they planned to release a summary of the report's findings, instead of the full document.

Halunen said on Tuesday that Kluwe would sue for religious discrimination -- in light of his allegation that Priefer disparaged him for being an agnostic -- human rights discrimination, defamation and "tortious interference with contractual relations," after the Vikings released the punter in May 2013. The attorney said he would obtain the report in the course of discovery, and would make it public "to the extent we're able." If the Vikings disclosed the report to the public, Halunen said, Kluwe would consider not filing a lawsuit. The Vikings received the report from investigators earlier this month, but have not said what they planned to do with it. In a Tuesday statement, they said they had engaged the law firm of Littler Mendelson P.C. to provide recommendations on the report to the team.

In the news conference, Halunen said the two sides had discussed settlement terms that would include a $1 million donation from the Vikings to charities that support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender causes.

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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