Chris Kluwe and Vikings Reach Agreement to Settle Out of Court

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2014

Dec 23, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe (5) walks off the field after the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium. The Vikings won 23-6. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 19

The Minnesota Vikings released a statement regarding their settlement with former punter Chris Kluwe, per owner/chairman Zygi Wilf:

We appreciate Chris Kluwe’s contributions to the Minnesota Vikings as a player and a member of this organization during his eight seasons in which he established many team records as our punter, and we wish him and his family the best in the future. In regards to this matter, our focus remains on maintaining a culture of tolerance, inclusion and respect, and creating the best workplace environment for our players, coaches and staff.

Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf added: "As a family we have long-supported equal rights causes, including marriage equality. We are glad a resolution of this matter has been reached, and we look forward to continuing our efforts to create positive awareness of these issues."

And Kluwe said: "I'm pleased that the issue has been resolved. I intend to continue to speak out on behalf of marriage equality, and I am pleased to be a part of the impact the Vikings material charitable contributions will have on LGBT and related causes."

Kluwe also commented on his Twitter account following the announcement:

The team also included some of the terms of the settlement:

As part of the resolution, the Vikings will provide continued financial support for human rights and anti-hate causes, resulting in a substantial and material benefit in the fight against gender preference discrimination. The team will also continue to enhance its sensitivity training policy and will further embody in the Club Code of Conduct and Employee Handbook a Zero Tolerance Policy for any discrimination and harassment because of race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. Finally, the Vikings will work to build awareness and understanding of LGBT issues in professional football and in sports generally.


Original Text

The Minnesota Vikings and Chris Kluwe may not be going to court after all. According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the two sides have reached a settlement.

Kluwe confirms an agreement has been made:

Dawn Mitchell of Fox 9 in Minneapolis noted that Kluwe's attorney, Clayton Halunen, and the Vikings have agreed to terms for the settlement and will make an announcement next week:'s Ben Goessling reported that an official agreement has yet to be reached but should be soon:

Halunen confirmed to USA Today that the settlement would mean the end of the former punter's proposed lawsuit against the team. Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press in St. Paul believes this decision would benefit everyone:

Minnesota suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for three games after an independent investigation commissioned by the team determined the coach made a homophobic comment to Kluwe. The suspension could be reduced to two games.

The investigators couldn't corroborate Kluwe's claims that Priefer made multiple homophobic statements or that the punter's activism led in part to his release from the team in 2013. They concluded the veteran was cut simply for financial reasons.

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Chris Kluwe #5 of the Minnesota Vikings punts the ball against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Imag
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Kluwe remained unsatisfied after the suspension, and Halunen said an impending lawsuit remained on the horizon for the Vikings.

A likely settlement between Kluwe and Minnesota would appear to signal the end of this entire saga. The 32-year-old's possible legal action was the last domino to fall.

With that door closed, both the team and player are putting all of this in the past.