US: Minnesota Vikings reinstate coach after homophobia ban

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NFL team the Minnesota Vikings have reinstated a coach who was suspended for three games for using an anti-gay slur.

Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe alleged that assistant coach Mike Priefer in 2012 made homophobic remarks. Priefer was suspended for three games following an independent investigation.

However, Priefer, the special teams coach, could now be brought back after just two games, if he completed a program of anti-harassment, diversity and sexual orientation sensitivity training.

“The decision by Vikings ownership follows extensive conversations with the independent professional consultants retained to conduct individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual orientation training with Coach Priefer,” the Vikings said in a statement on Sunday night.

“Those consultants have conveyed to the team that Coach Priefer was fully and thoughtfully engaged throughout the process and successfully completed the program.”

Kluwe announced a lawsuit against the team earlier this year, after alleging homophobia, but last month the two parties reached a settlement.

In a statement Kluwe revealed: “We’ve reached a settlement with the Vikings. Terms I can disclose as follows.

“1. They will donate a substantial amount to five charities, several MN local, over the next five years.

“2. They are implementing enhanced training within the entire organization, and are committed to a zero tolerance policy on homophobia.

“3. The Vikings will be working to create a symposium to bring together sports and LBGTQ leaders in order to address this issue in sports.

“I believe the Vikings are committed to being leaders on the subject of homophobia in sports, and will work to make significant change.

“Also, I get exactly ZERO dollars from this settlement, so if you sent me a nasty message over the past months, go mainline bleach.

“Looking forward to seeing the strides the Vikings and the rest of the NFL will make on homophobia going forward. Still work to be done.”

Earlier in August, a new NFL training video warned all players warned of the organisation’s crackdown on homophobia.