Last week, Chris Kluwe turned heads on Twitter when he sent out the following message:
The tweet was one in a series sent out by Kluwe – you can see all of them, many directed at the Minnesota Vikings, on his Twitter profile, @ChrisWarcraft – following the release of a report by the punter’s former team. In the report, Minnesota revealed that Kluwe’s former special teams coach Mike Preifer was suspended three games in response to Kluwe’s allegations that Preifer used anti-gay slurs. Additionally, Minnesota alleged in the report that Kluwe made fun of a Penn State alum employed by the team, invoking Jerry Sandusky’s name in the process.
In his interview, [Vikings Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Tom] Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a “Penn State victim” and to “stay away” from him while his buttocks were exposed.
Tuesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Kluwe, who is set to file a lawsuit against the Vikings for “wrongful discharge and defamation of character,” according to NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, addressed the tweet.
“I think a lot of people are making assumptions here,” Kluwe said. “Remember, I was very precise in the words that I used. ‘In a compromising situation’ means a wide variety of different things. So I can’t control what assumptions people jump to, but this is something that will come out during litigation.”
When pressed on why Kluwe hadn’t reported the alleged “compromising situation” earlier, he responded:
“Like I said, when we get to litigation and the facts come out, people can make an informed decision.”
He added, rhetorically, “I will say, based on everything I have done, do you think I would’ve stood by if I felt a minor was in danger?”
SiriusXM NFL Radio host Ross Tucker later asked Kluwe about Tony Dungy‘s comments regarding Michael Sam. Dungy said he wouldn’t have drafted Sam, because he “wouldn’t want to deal with all of it,” “it” being the media coverage around the fact that Sam is gay. Tucker suggested Sam’s situation is similar to what Kluwe’s was as an LGBTQ activist on the Vikings.
“That’s fair to say,” Kluwe said. “And I think it’s a question we need to ask ourselves as a society, is that, ‘Are we happy with a situation like that?’ Where someone who isn’t a star player who stands up for human rights, or who happens to be gay; is it OK for a team to essentially discriminate against a person simply because they don’t want to have to deal with confronting a tough situation? When the NFL has made it abundantly clear that they will confront other tough situations, like spousal abuse, like murder, like attempted rapes – they will happily go along with all those other things if you can play. And I don’t think that that is the sign of a healthy society.”
Kluwe also reiterated that, if he were to win the suit against the Vikings, he would donate the money.
“I’ve publicly stated in multiple places that any money I get from this will go to LGBTQ charities,” Kluwe said. “This, to me, is not about the money. It’s about showing a large business that you can’t treat people like this, and you can’t just fire someone because of their activism. Unfortunately, the only thing businesses understand is the bottom line.”