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By John McMullen, NFL Editor - Archive - Email
Stone comes looking for Kluwe's glass house
Chris Kluwe A report concludes there is no evidence that supported Chris Kluwe's claim
that he was released by the Vikings in May 2013 because of his activism.
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - FX unveiled its anticipated new comedy series "You're the Worst" last week.

To my surprise, however, the show evidently had nothing to do with Minnesota Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer or his favorite ex-employee, Chris Kluwe.

In the race for who's the worst, though, it might come down to the now- admitted homophobe and his incredibly hypocritical former punter.

Priefer was slapped with a three-game suspension that could be shortened to two games for making a homophobic comment to Kluwe, a high-profile advocate for gay marriage.

The results of a nearly six-month "independent" investigation started by the team over claims Kluwe made in an online article titled, "I was an NFL player until I was fired by two cowards and a bigot (referring to then-coach Leslie Frazier, general manager Rick Spielman and Priefer)," were strategically released by the Vikings in a Friday news dump in order to limit as much media attention as possible.

According to a 29-page memo, the investigation turned up evidence Priefer did indeed make a homophobic statement to Kluwe, something the coach denied at first, but not the many the former punter alleged in his first-person account earlier this year.

"As we sat down in our chairs, Mike Priefer, in one of the meanest voices I can ever recall hearing, said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows," Kluwe accused.

The only real practical football matter is all this nonsense was also cleared up, although it really didn't need to be. The report concludes there is no evidence that supported Kluwe's claim that he was released by the Vikings in May 2013 because of his activism.

Investigators hired former Chicago Bears general manager Jerry Angelo and former Pro Bowl punter Craig Hentrich to analyze Kluwe's 2012 season amid his claims he was released for non-performance reasons. Based on the analysis, the investigators concluded Kluwe was released "for football performance reasons and not his views on marriage equality."

It should have ended there but Kluwe tweeted Friday that he was still pursuing a lawsuit against the Vikings and would seek "max damages" that he would donate to LBGT charities.

"This is not about the money for me," Kluwe wrote. "This is about doing what's right."

Really?

Because the report also took aim at Kluwe's own imperfections.

Kluwe was accused of making fun of the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State child molestation controversy at the expense of the Vikings' then strength and conditioning coach Tom Kanavy, an alumnus and former coach at Penn State.

In his interview with investigators, Kanavy explained that Kluwe cut the seat out of his pants and then put them on to imitate a victim of the Penn State child-abuse scandal. According to Kanavy, Kluwe said that he was a "Penn State victim" and to "stay away" from him while his buttocks were exposed.

But forget the moral equivalency here, at least according to Kluwe, who cautioned us all on Twitter.

"People, please remember that I choose my words very carefully," the elitist with the perfect verbal SAT score Tweeted on Friday. "Assumptions are your enemy."

Duly warned but I'll put on my amateur psychologist hat and try to tackle Kluwe's apparent need to fight the injustices of the world, at least the ones he finds worthy of his activism.

Kluwe wasn't choosing his words carefully on Twitter when he accused "two very well known Vikings were once caught in a compromising situation with an underage girl."

That not only intimated that the organization somehow covered that up, it also exposes Kluwe as the moral crusader who couldn't stand Priefer's lip service toward gays but kept sexual assault of an underage girl in his hip pocket as ammunition for a potential legal fight.

Talk about losing the moral high ground.

Kluwe is your textbook parvenu, though, a man who has gained influence and at least a certain degree of celebrity by championing issues that the normal knuckle-draggers who populate pro football locker rooms like Priefer are not refined enough to understand.

In fact, Kluwe is a man who hates intolerance so much that he has become the very thing he despises -- intolerant.

There is no room for opposition in Kluwe's world. Anyone who doesn't fall in line with his way of thinking is either naive, misinformed or obtuse.

If you question him, you are written off as an apologist or as someone steeped in fanaticism trying to somehow protect the Vikings.

Yet, Kluwe is the one far more intellectually dishonest than all the sycophants supposedly hiding the dark underbelly of the NFL. After all, he is smart enough to know he's been doing exactly that his whole life, whether it was in Minnesota or locker rooms in Los Alamitos, Westwood and Oakland.

Do even the staunchest Kluwe apologists really think Priefer's repulsive gay bashing was the first untoward thing Kluwe has heard in a locker room over the past 17 or so years?

Let's all stop pretending here.

Kluwe had an ax to grind with his old boss and he cloaked it in his support of gay marriage.

His irrational insistence in calling himself the best punter in franchise history was an oversimplification, using the bloated gross punting numbers of today's players. Kluwe was released because he was an average punter set to make $1.45 million in 2013.

In the end, this is just an old story with a modern-day twist, a guy who hated his boss and wants revenge.

Mike Priefer may be bad but Chris Kluwe is the worst.


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