Well, this is about to get interesting.
According to a summary of an investigation that was released by the Minnesota Vikings, former punter Chris Kluwe made an inappropriate joke in 2012 pertaining to the Penn State scandal involving Jerry Sandusky. Kluwe, a gay-rights activist, reportedly tore a hole in the back of his shorts and claimed he was one of Sandusky’s victims.
Kluwe has apologized for the joke but has nevertheless received backlash for it.
“I think that’s exactly what the Vikings wanted,” Kluwe said on The Morning Show. “They wanted to release a summary of the report that pretty much focused the attention on me instead of it focusing on the issue, which is where they said they did find evidence of wrongdoing and that I was released because of my activism. They tried to paint a very fine line by saying it wasn’t the content of the activism, just the activism itself. But I don’t know how you have activism without drawing attention to something, so really it’s kind of a (bad) argument.”
Kluwe, who was released by Minnesota in 2012, has alleged that the Vikings are guilty of homophobic behavior, claiming that special teams coach Mike Priefer, for example, once stated that homosexuals should be rounded up, taken to an island and nuked.
The Vikings have suspended Priefer without pay for the first three games of the 2014 season. Kluwe, however, feels that the 29-page summary of the investigation that Minnesota released is inaccurate and incomplete, especially since 26 of the pages – his count – focus on Kluwe.
“As I’ve said elsewhere, I apologize for (the joke that I made),” Kluwe reiterated. “I thought I was making a joke about Penn State, and it got taken the wrong way. The joke that I made was not making fun of the victims of sexual abuse. That is a horrible thing to do. It was making fun of the situation at Penn State – where the blind loyalty of people who think that just because a football team is involved in something, (then that means) they can cover up whatever happens to occur. I think that is one of the hugest problems in our sports world today, and that is what I’m seeing a lot of with the Vikings – people are focusing on one single joke and looking at it like, ‘Oh, you said this one thing, (so you have no credibility).’”
“Those 26 pages are deliberately designed to make me look bad,” Kluwe continued. “There are factual inconsistencies in those descriptions, so why are the questions being asked about Chris Kluwe and not about what are the Vikings hiding with the rest of this report?”
Kluwe believes that the report, which is roughly 150 pages, needs to be released – even if it requires the NFL getting involved.
“The NFL should step up and say or do something,” he said. “The previous two incidents that are similar to this – the Saints’ Bounty Gate investigation and the Jonathan Martin situation in Miami – the NFL made both of those reports completely public. They allowed the entire report to be seen and people were able to form their own conclusions about what happened. I think the public deserves to see this entire report. We can’t talk about this issue without being informed about it.”
Kluwe, 32, will likely pursue legal action against the Vikings. He also knows that his NFL career is probably over.
“Yes, I think it’s done,” he said. “Just look at Tony Dungy’s comments. They don’t want players who they perceive as distractions. Unfortunately, it looks like being an activist for social change is a distraction that you just can’t be redeemed from – as opposed to committing crimes.”