MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The messy dispute between the Minnesota Vikings and their former punter, Chris Kluwe, has been settled.
Kluwe had been threatening a $10 million lawsuit against the team, claiming he was let go because of his support for gay marriage.
While the dollar amount has not been released, the Vikings have agreed to donate to five LGBT charities for the next five years.
They will also conduct enhanced sensitivity training for all Vikings employees, including players and coaches. And they will also work to promote understanding of LGBT issues in pro football and other sports.
“I doubt I’ll ever play in the NFL again, but … I think it was worth it,” Kluwe said.
He says the settlement isn’t perfect, but it is a lot of what he had wanted.
“It’s one of those things where no one ever really gets what they want, but the thing is we are able to do a lot of good for a lot of people,” he said.
In a written statement, Vikings owner Mark Wilf thanked Kluwe for his contributions to the team.
“We look forward to continuing our efforts to create positive awareness of these issues,” Wilf said.
Kluwe also seemed eager to bury the hatchet.
“I think the Wilfs are really committed to it, and they want to be the ones moving forward to be, “Hey, we helped make this happen,” Kluwe said.
He had threatened a multi-million dollar lawsuit claiming he was subjected to harassment, discrimination and eventually let go because of his pro-gay marriage views.
A preliminary report released by the Vikings found evidence of only one anti-gay remark by assistant coach, Mike Priefer.
Employment attorney Marcy Frost says the agreement appears to be the best possible outcome for both sides, and says Kluwe would have had a tough time winning in court.
“I think he had a very difficult case,” Frost said. “We’re talking about one incident of an inappropriate comment, and generally, one comment will not be sufficient to create a harassment claim.”
Kluwe says he will receive no money personally. Neither side would release the amount of money the Vikings would donate to LGBT causes.
Kluwe’s attorney described it as “substantial.”