The Minnesota Vikings have retained counsel to investigate allegations made by former punter Chris Kluwe. The Vikings' punter from 2005 through 2012, Kluwe claimed he was released in May 2013 due to his support of same-sex marriage. The allegation was contained in a first-person article published by Deadspin on Thursday that also accused special teams coordinator Mike Priefer of making anti-gay comments during team meetings.
“It is extremely important for the Vikings organization to react immediately and comprehensively with an independent review of these allegations,” Vikings Owner Mark Wilf said in a statement issued Friday.
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According to statement released by the Vikings on Friday, the investigation will be led by former Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Eric Magnuson and former U.S. Department of Justice Trial Attorney Chris Madel.
“This is a highly sensitive matter that we as an organization will address with integrity,” Vikings Vice President of Legal Affairs and Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Warren said in the team's statement. “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.”
The team previously issued a statement on Thursday, just hours after Kluwe's article was published, denying his claim that his release from the team was based on his advocacy rather than his performance. In that same statement, the team indicated it would "thoroughly review" his allegations. By retaining Magnuson and Madel to investigate the matter, the team appeared to be following through on that promise.
"That's good. I'm glad they're taking the matter seriously," Kluwe told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press after the Vikings' announcement. "Everything I said was the truth.''