Thursday, September 3, 2015

chris kluwe

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings have announced a contract extension for kicker Blair Walsh.

The news comes on the first day of training camp practices in Mankato and the proactive approach means the 25 year-old 2012 draft pick will remain the team’s kicker for the foreseeable future.

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Minnesota Vikings moving forward,” said Walsh in the team’s announcement. “I’d like to thank Rick Spielman, the Wilf family, Coach Zimmer, Coach Priefer and Rob Brzezinski for giving me this opportunity. I’m proud to be able to stay with the team that drafted me coming out of college and I look forward to what is in store for the future of this organization.”

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Lindsey Young and her father.

I have heard countless sports journalists say that you simply cannot be a fan of a team that you cover. Vikings Territory‘s own Lindsey Young is well on her way to being an exception to that rule.

Lindsey is also incredibly humble, vocally refusing to use VT to promote her other works, so I decided to hijack this week’s “Fan Spotlight” (which she normally authors) and make it all about her.

Literally since before she can remember, Lindsey has been a fan of Minnesota sports of all varieties, and the evidence is on tape.

“There is a home video my parents have where I’m in the living room playing, and you can hear my dad watching TV in the other room,” she tells me of those early days of watching the Twins with her dad.

“Kirby Puckett is on!” he could be heard yelling from the other room. Little Lindsey hops right up, in this video, and books it for the room with the television in it to watch Puckett at bat. Even at that young age, she was interested in sports and knew which players were a cut above the rest.

[NOTE FROM ARIF: With details of the settlement now made public, we can provide more information]

UPDATE: With the terms released, we now have more to speculate with. Per reports from Chris Tomasson at the Pioneer Press, we know the following—

  • 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:

I’ll admit it.  I’m viewing things through purple-colored sunglasses these days, with Mike Zimmer making me an optimistic fan yet again, and finding five things I loved about our first preseason victory was much easier than this post.

Afterall, “hate” is a mighty strong word.

So, it might be best to consider this more of a list of things that annoy me.

5.  Kluwe Shadow Still Looms Large

As I stated, I’m loving this new regime and all of the excitement that comes with it. Paul Allen, a homeristic homer, navigated away from the harsh truths of the Chris Kluwe versus Mike Priefer saga during his broadcast, but the national guys will not be so kind to the Vikings organization.  During those first few weeks, when Priefer is serving his suspension, the new coaching staff will have their debut games tainted by this distracting drama and the talking points that are sure to follow.

Training camp is oh-so-close now and we are all excited about the new heights our coverage will reach this year, but first let’s do some house cleaning and see what others are saying around the web:

 

 

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