The Minnesota Vikings will host an LGBTQ summit and fundraiser as part of a settlement over anti-gay comments purportedly directed at former Vikings player Chris Kluwe.
The team now says it will host the summit/fundraiser for gay organizations on June 21, prior to the Twin Cities gay pride parade this year, the Star Tribune reported.
The paper notes that the Vikings is the first NFL team to host a gay summit/fundraiser, but the event was not necessarily the team’s idea. It is a result of an agreement with former punter Chris Kluew who threatened to sue after special teams coordinator Mike Priefer reportedly used anti-gay language.
“We obviously had our issues a while ago, but this is our way of looking forward and trying to figure out how we make sure that we set the stage for that not to happen again,” Kluwe said of the announcement. “I think that it’s the ideal outcome in that, at the end of the day, hopefully this will help a lot of people that otherwise might not have gotten that help.
“It’s a big deal to have an NFL team … put on a summit for LGBTQ issues,” Kluwe added.
Kluwe even urged Priefer to attend presumably to enlighten him with the panel discussions of how players and coaches can make sports more “welcoming” for gays.
Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren even insisted that this may become an annual event: “We definitely want to make sure this is not a one-time event. I can say that with confidence.”
Kluwe will speak to the upwards to 200 people the Vikings have invited to the private event. Others appearing to speak include former Olympic diver Greg Louganis and NFL defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo.
The former punter also said he hopes other NFL teams join the Vikings in holding events like this.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.