Chris Kluwe to file lawsuit
MINNEAPOLIS - Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said he plans to file a lawsuit against the team early next week after negotiations on a settlement broke down on Friday. Kluwe had said on Tuesday he would sue if the Vikings did not release a full copy of an independent investigation into the punter's claims that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer made homophobic remarks during the 2012 season and that the team released Kluwe in May 2013 for his support of same-sex marriage.
The Vikings planned to release a summary of the report on Friday evening. Kluwe's attorney, Clayton Halunen, said Priefer would be suspended for his conduct, but that the suspension likely would not meet Kluwe's request of a four-to-eight game ban. Halunen and Kluwe had asked for the Vikings to donate $1 million to charities that support LGBT-friendly causes. According to the punter, however, the Vikings offered to donate $100,000, and declined to release the full report, informing Kluwe's attorney on Friday afternoon they would not accept Kluwe's settlement terms.
"The settlement is completely off the table," Kluwe said. "The way they've gone about this entire business is unacceptable to anyone who has idea what transparency actually means. I think it shows there is a culture there that needs to be changed. They said, all along, they'd go about this in an openly transparent manner. But when they get the report, they clam up and don't want to release the full version."
Halunen said the punter could expect to receive up to $10 million in damages for religious and human rights discrimination, defamation, tortious interference with contractual relations and emotional stress damages, since, he said, Kluwe's punting career was likely over. "The scope of things now has changed," Halunen said.
The attorney said he planned to file the lawsuit in Minnesota state court, and would ask for a full copy of the report as part of the discovery process. "They will fight over it," Halunen said. "I know it. If they are required to give it to me, they'll try to do it under a protective order, but I'm going to fight to keep it public."
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