In an article published on Deadspin early Thursday afternoon, former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe accused special teams coach Mike Priefer of being a biggot and called Leslie Frazier and Rick Spielman cowards. Aside from being known as a former-NFL punter, Kluwe has made his voice heard in his support of same sex marriage which is what he believes led to his firing.
Kluwe has made accusations towards the Vikings franchise before, but what he said about Priefer should open eyes and raise serious questions. Kluwe says Priefer spoke out against “the gays” numerous times during the 2012 season, and even aimed some remarks at Kluwe as bad as, “that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible.”
Kluwe also made it clear that the recently fired Frazier told him multiple times it would be best if he kept his mouth shut when it comes to politics and religion. General manager Rick Spielman apparently also made an attempt to keep the former-Viking silent by sending him the text “Please fly under radar please” in reference to Kluwe’s then recent tweets on Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to step down.
When the story really takes a twist, however, is when Kluwe describes a game on Sept. 9, 2012 against the Jacksonville Jaguars when Vikings owner Zygi Wilf came up him before the game and made this statement:
“Chris, I’m proud of what you’ve done. Please feel free to keep speaking out. I just came from my son’s best friend’s wedding to his partner in New York, and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”
This shows a clear contrast between the feelings of ownership and management on the issues of gay rights. While it appears Frazier and Spielman were simply thinking of how Kluwe’s comments would affect the team, despite what Kluwe thinks, Priefer is the one who made it known he doesn’t think gays deserve the right to marry, amongst other things.
With the Vikings firing Frazier this past Monday, it was conceivable his replacement would clean house and bring in a new staff meaning Prifer would no longer be roaming the Minnesota sidelines. The Vikings’ special teams unit, however, was one of the few bright spots this season, and there were even rumors that Priefer is the only in-house candidate for the head coaching position.
However, with the accusations Kluwe made towards his former coach and how his views clearly differ from ownership’s, Priefer very well could be out the door and searching for a new job. Kluwe does state his primary reason for writing these harsh things:
“If there’s one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it’s to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level.”
This story is just at its beginning, and with other recent stories emerging about the dysfunction in the front offices at Winter Park, the Vikings and their fans could be in for a long and drama-filled offseason.