Chris Kluwe threatens to take Vikings to court, after refusal to release report into homophobia

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Outspoken advocate of gay rights and retired NFL star, Chris Kluwe, will take his former team to court, after it reneged on promises to release the findings of an investigation into whether his dismissal last year was due to his support for the LGBT community.

Kluwe starred as a punter for the Minnesota Vikings from 2005 to 2012. He is an outspoken advocate of gay rights and particularly of gay marriage, and has previously stated that he supports the gay community simply because “it’s the right thing to do”.

After he was dismissed from the team, amid claims that his support for gay rights was the cause, the Vikings were forced to conduct an investigation into homophobia within the team management.

It was announced on Twitter this morning that the investigation had been completed:

Following the announcement, Kluwe’s attorney released a press release, reading: “The Vikings promised to make a full report of the investigation available to Kluwe and his attorney. Now, more than six months later, the investigators have handed over their report to the Vikings — and the Vikings refuse to give Kluwe a copy of the report.”

His lawyers have since said that they have “no choice but to litigate” in order to obtain copies of the investigation’s findings, according to KMSP-TV.

“It’s outrageous that the Vikings would choose to hide the facts of the investigation from me and their fans,” Kluwe said. “I was persecuted and then fired for standing up for what I believe in, all because some small-minded, bigoted people think that homophobia is okay in the NFL. It is not okay, and now it seems like we’ll have to go to court to force the Vikings to admit that.”

In March 2013, Kluwe filed an amicus brief with fellow NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo, urging the Supreme Court to strike down California’s Proposition 8 ban on equal marriage.

Two months later, he announced that he had been dropped by the Minnesota Vikings. In his announcement he said, “I think making people aware of an issue that is causing children to commit suicide is more important than kicking a leather ball.”

Journalists and pundits questioned at the time whether Kluwe’s dismissal was due to his vocal support for equal marriage.

Although Kluwe did not speak out immediately, in January of this year he said he was “pretty confident” that he had been sacked on account of his gay rights activism. He also detailed occurrences of homophobia from special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.

Priefer denied claims that he was homophobic, saying that he has gay family members whom he loves. Kluwe admitted he had been “a little too harsh” in calling for Priefer to be sacked.

However, Kluwe’s lawyers have since said that they have text messages to back up the former player’s claims of homophobia from the coach.