Punter Chris Kluwe has decided not to pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Minnesota Vikings. Instead, he will accept a settlement that will provide an undisclosed sum of money to five gay-rights charities over the next five years.
Kluwe had threatened to sue the Vikings, claiming that he had been released from the team as a result of his overt support for gay marriage. He also had accused special teams coordinator Mike Priefer of making homophobic remarks during the 2012 season.
The Star-Tribune reported that the former UCLA standout said that he is now convinced that Viking owners Zygi and Mark Wilf are committed to the same-sex marriage cause and “want to make this a reality where there is no discrimination in sports, there is no homophobia.”
Zygi Wilf said in the statement, “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.”
Notably, Kluwe emphasized that he will not be receiving any money from the settlement. Clayton Halunen, the disgruntled punter’s attorney, added that the Vikings have agreed to host a national conference next spring regarding LGBT issues and professional athletics. Furthermore, as part of the settlement all Viking employees will undergo sensitivity training four times a year.
According to ESPN, Kluwe acknowledged that his fight with the team is over and said that the settlement will “do a lot of good for a lot of people.” The Vikings had announced earlier that in addition to making the charitable donations to the five charities that they would be contributing another $100,000 to LGBT causes.
Moreover, on July 19 the Vikings announced a three-game suspension for special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer.