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Vikes Take Kluwe Allegations Very Seriously

If you wanted to read every word said or written by Chris Kluwe over the last few days, then you have certainly had your work cut out for you, as it seems like he has found the time to speak with just about every media outlet north of the equator.  With that being said, if you are going to read just one, make sure it is Tom Pelissero’s (we miss you, Tom) one-on-one with Kluwe at USA Today.

Kluwe has not backed down from the allegation he let loose on Deadspin two days ago, insisting that special teams coach Mike Priefer had Kluwe cut due to bigotry.  I think you are all aware that I think Kluwe was cut for other reasons, but I also don’t think Kluwe is a liar.  The Vikings are attempting to find out.

The Vikings announced yesterday that they have returned two big-time lawyers to oversee an investigation.  Their statement:

The Minnesota Vikings have retained two partners of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. to complete an independent review of yesterday’s allegations by Chris Kluwe.

Former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Chris Madel will lead the investigation.

“It is extremely important for the Vikings organization to react immediately and comprehensively with an independent review of these allegations,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf.

Magnuson, who is currently a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. and teaches at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is highly-regarded in Minnesota and throughout the country. He has more than 35 years of practice, including over two years (2008-10) as the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Madel is the Chair of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P.’s Government and Internal Investigations Group, and has led numerous high-profile investigations, including the extensively publicized internal investigation of the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona. Madel has also been selected as the Minnesota Lawyer’s “Attorney of the Year” for 2011, 2012, and 2013, and is the first attorney to win the award for three consecutive years.

“This is a highly sensitive matter that we as an organization will address with integrity,” said Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Warren. “Eric and Chris have stellar reputations in both the local and national legal community. They have handled numerous cases involving a wide range of issues, and we are confident they will move swiftly and fairly in completing this investigation.”

Robins, Kaplan’s investigation has already begun and will include interviews with current and former members of the Vikings organization.

While I understand the need for the Vikings to conduct this investigation, with a major blow to their image hanging in the balance, I personally think this whole thing has gotten a little out of hand.  I think Kluwe is hypocritical and misguided in his assumptions, in his assessment as to why he was cut, and NFL history is all the evidence a courtroom should need to give Priefer the benefit of the doubt.

Last offseason, Kluwe was not the only contract-year player put in a tough spot, especially after Rick Spielman publicly declared his intent to create a youth movement within the Vikings roster.

Kevin Williams was forced to take a paycut and a year off his contract, with Sharrif Floyd being drafted in the first round as his presumptive replacement.  Antoine Winfield was released due to his high salary number and age, with Xavier Rhodes being drafted to help the team try and account for his departure.  Percy Harvin, also entering his contract season, was traded to Seattle with Cordarrelle Patterson being drafted to fill the void left by Harvin both on offense and within Preifer’s return unit.

If you think an NFL punter isn’t replaceable then you haven’t been paying attention.  If you think an expensive, regressing, injured and aging punter can’t isn’t expendable then you really haven’t been paying attention.  Moves are made in professional sports, particularly in the NFL, all the time that resemble exactly what happened to Kluwe.  In fact, more often than not a player is released or traded before his contract is up, that is just part of the business.

Kluwe, a full season after his release, still seems genuinely floored that he wasn’t allowed to play out his contract.

If his surprise is real, then he has certainly not been paying attention.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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  1. oh please is he really that full of himself? He sucked, he was expensive. What more reason did they need to cut a crappy self righteous moron? But I figured something like this would eventually surface, cause hes always gotta make a specticle of himself and be the center of attention. You could easily see that when he was playing, he had to make himself a distraction rather then improve his game. Hence why he sucked, which was the real reason he got cut.

  2. so, first, my mouth was watering watching luck during their first scoring drive, later, i turn off this indy-kc game because it’s so lopsided and go outside to do some stuff. now i come in and watch indy get the lead. jeezuz, why didn’t we suck for luck, smh

  3. Adam, what is this ‘Deadspin” site anyway? Is this a credible source for people to even seriously consider, or just a place for flakes to get attention from other flakes?

    1. I consider Deadspin to be a legitimate site, yes. They often cross the line, in terms of content and evidence and writing style, that the mainstream media is not allowed to cross. They have no allegiances with anybody and, unlike ESPN, are not afraid to go after star power. They don’t pull punches out of fear of not landing the next big exclusive, which makes me think at times they have higher integrity than some of the big corporate media outlets. They are the ones responsible for exposing the whole Favre and Sterger thing.

      In this Kluwe case, I’m not sure why he chose Deadspin. Don’t think for a second that the Strib or Pioneer Press wouldn’t have posted the same exact letter had Kluwe approached them. In the end, I don’t think it would’ve mattered. He could have written his story on a napkin and it would’ve got just as much attention and caused the same amount of uproar.

      1. Thanks, Adam, appreciate what you know about them. I just don’t know what to make of all this. Could a Chris Kluwe really make things up to this degree? And if an off-handed, ill-advised comment was made in a moment of private indiscretion, is that cause for the end of someone’s career? I know you can’t use the word “bomb” on an airplane, but there is a line here somewhere of being able to express your opinion, too. Regardless, there is little doubt that Chris Kluwe has taken his release from the Vikings in a most immature fashion. Maybe he had already spent some of that money he never wound up earning.

  4. The title of his book tells you all you need to know about Kluwless. Truth be told, he was too much with his activism. Was there some gay issue happening on the team that Kluwless needed to step in and defend? No. The issue was Kluwless running to the media and being some opposing advocate against the team with the frozen turf and everything else,. And, too much $ for him. See ya. People say all sorts of thngs at work. Especially when provoked by a person like Kluwless. Why wouldn’t the Vikings want to get rid of such a problem/kook/constant idiot/overpaid publicity hound? It’s their right. Saying Priefer should never coach again is ludicrous. Because he, trash talked with Kluwless about politics and values? Kluwless is a tattletale publicity hound that needs to go away. And don’t punt it to Reggie Bush, idiot.

  5. I posted something over at VU considering that there is a good chance that Priefer said exactly what Kluwe said he did…but perhaps he said it the day after one of Kluwe’s ridiculous profanity laced articles appeared on deadspin, and he was simply trying to make Kluwe aware of how juvenile and unprofessional that type of statement is. Priefer made it publically known that he did not feel like he could coach Kluwe, so right or wrong, I could understand if he felt making some ridiculous comment like that was the only way to get Mr. Warcraft’s attention. If Priefer did say what he’s accused of, I sure hope if it was said in that type of context that is taken into consideration. It wouldn’t make it right, but there is a difference between saying something stupid for shock value and actually being a racist or bigot. Kluwe should know that considering some of the things that he has put in print on the internet.