The Minnesota Vikings have retained two lawyers to conduct an independent review into allegations made Thursday by former punter Chris Kluwe, who claimed in an Internet blog post that the team released him because of his public stance in support of same-sex marriage. Eric Magnuson, the former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Chris Madel, a former U.S. Department of Justice Trial attorney, will lead the investigation. "It is extremely important for the Vikings organization to react immediately and comprehensively with an independent review of these allegations," Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said in a statement issued by the team Friday. Magnuson and Madel are partners in the firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. Their investigation is already underway, according to the Vikings' release. "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 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." In an article posted Thursday to the website Deadspin titled "I Was An NFL Player Until I Was Fired By Two Cowards And A Bigot," Kluwe criticized coach Leslie Frazier – who was fired Monday – and general manager Rick Spielman for discouraging his activism. But Kluwe came down hardest on Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, whom he claimed "would use homophobic language in my presence" in the fall of 2012 while Kluwe was speaking out against the proposed Minnesota Gay Marriage Amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and was voted down. "Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible," Kluwe wrote. "He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind." Priefer – a 47-year-old former Navy helicopter pilot who has spent 20 years as a college and pro special teams coach – denied the allegations and remained employed by the Vikings as of Thursday afternoon.
Vikings launch investigation into Chris Kluwe's allegations
USA Today | Jan 4