US: NFL coach suspended over anti-gay slur ‘a better man’ after sensitivity training

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An NFL coach who was suspended for three games for using an anti-gay slur says he is “a better man” after undergoing sensitivity training.

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

He was reinstated this week, after undergoing sensitivity training and serving the duration of his ban.

Mr Priefer told Associated Press of the training: “I don’t know if I’ve changed, but I think I have more awareness of my surroundings and other people around me. I think I’m a better man because of it.

“It was very positive. It was very professionally done.

“Like anything else in life, if you put a lot into it, you’re going to get a lot out of it. I tell my kids that.

“I tell our players that. So I went into it with a great attitude and I got a lot out of it, to be honest with you.”

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.