[NOTE FROM ARIF: With details of the settlement now made public, we can provide more information]
- The Vikings will donate to five different LGBT groups over the next five years, several local. Kluwe mentioned on twitter that it was a “substantial amount.” To reporter Chris Tommason of the Pioneer Press, Halunen said, ““Everybody knows the numbers we have been talking about over the past seven months. It’s substantial.”
- One of those organizations is the Matthew Shepard Foundation, dedicated to the memory of Matthew Shepard, murdered in Laramie, Wyoming because of his sexual orientation. It attempts to “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, & Acceptance” with outreach and advocacy work.
- Some of these organizations are Minnesota organizations.
- The Vikings will implement enhanced training within the entire organization, and renew their committed to a zero tolerance policy on homophobia.
- The Vikings will be working to create a symposium to bring together sports and LBGTQ leaders in order to address this issue in sports.
- Chris Kluwe is free to talk about his experience with the Vikings, but not the allegations. He says he will write about his experiences in his memoirs.
- The full 150-page executive summary of the investigation will not be released.
Further, Chris Kluwe released this statement via twitter in regards to the report’s release, “Our worry there was that there were systemic problems being covered up, but there weren’t. Then it became, do I want this to be about me? (And prove the haters right) Or do we try to do a lot of good for a lot of other people. We’ve chosen to help those who need it, in a way that hopefully will set an example moving forward for others to follow.”
The Vikings released the following statement:
“We appreciate Chris Kluwe’s contributions to the Minnesota Vikings as a player and a member of this organization during his eight seasons in which he established many team records as our punter, and we wish him and his family the best in the future/ In regards to this matter, our focus remains on maintaining a culture of tolerance, inclusion and respect, and creating the best workplace environment for our players, coaches and staff.”
I speculated about the implications of not releasing the report as it pertains to both the Vikings and Chris Kluwe over at Vikings Journal, but suffice to say the Vikings probably dodged a bullet by being allowed to keep the report secret.
Also, Chris Kluwe and Clay Madel demanded an apology from Kevin Warren, Vikings executive vice president and chief administrative officer for two comments: that he was a punter in decline and for releasing “out of context” statements regarding the Sandusky jokes. I’m not entirely sure why he should apologize for the first, but if the context changes Chris Kluwe’s statements, then an apology makes sense—if context can.
Kevin Warren responded with a nonpology, similar to Kluwe’s non-apology apology in regards to the rape jokes:
If there’s anyone that we offended along the way while we were working on this, we were trying do the best and get to the facts and get to the truth. We just want to make sure we apologize to anyone that was really involved in this process because it was complicated and it was stressful for a lot of people involved. … But I think at the end of the day, the results that you have seen and you’ve heard, that this will build positive awareness for the LGBT community.
It’s just me personally, being the executive and an attorney internally (with the Vikings). That’s speaking for me, personally. … It’s really for the whole process. This has been a complicated situation, and we tried to handle it with integrity and professionalism and honesty. … And if anybody was kind of offended along the way, within our organization or externally, it was not done without any intent or ill will whatever. We were just trying to conduct a professional investigation.
Original story below:
Reports flew around the internet Friday evening that Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement in his ongoing allegations that he not released for football reasons, but for his activism. The saga took an ugly turn last month when the Vikings released their summarized version of the independent investigation, which included some details about Kluwe’s own behavior that drew public scorn.
The reports of the settlement were confirmed by Kluwe’s lawyer and it appears a joint press conference will be held on Monday to address this case that has captured the attention of the masses around the nation.
Kluwe’s sudden willingness to abandon legal action against his former employer means the saga should soon come to a close, but I’m guessing the discussion will be reignited at least one more time. Kluwe seemed a long ways from willingly sitting down and being quiet for the benefit of the Vikings last time we heard from him, and concessions likely had to be made by both parties to reach this agreement, so I would be surprised if we didn’t learn more about Mike Priefer and the possible organizational failings when Monday rolls around.
Money will almost certainly be exchanged, with Kluwe vowing to donate it to gay rights groups, but the big question is whether or not the full report from the investigation will be released to the public.
Check back for more details. We’ll bring them to you as they become available.