Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is planning to move ahead with a lawsuit claiming that he was released after exposing anti-gay comments that were allegedly made by the Vikings special teams coach. According to the suit, at least one other player remembers the coach making the comments that suggested that gays should be rounded up and killed.
The Vikings reportedly investigated the coach and compiled a 150-page report that Kluwe says his attorney will ask to see in full. According to reports, there is evidence in the document to suggest that the coach acknowledged making the comments and that he would not disagree with the allegation if another player says that he heard those words. According to the Vikings report, the special teams coach gave the punter the highest grade out of all the player evaluators on the team.
The report also spends 26 pages going into detail as to why Kluwe was released for football reasons as opposed to retaliation for whistleblowing or being outspoken. According to reports, the Vikings did suspend the special teams coach for three games this upcoming season, and the punishment could be reduced to two games if he completes a sensitivity training course. Kluwe says that although he may have lost his job, speaking out was worth it because it was something that he believed in.
Workers are supposed to be hired or fired based on their merits as opposed to their views on social issues or any alleged whistleblowing activities. An employee who feels as if he or she was terminated as a result of illegal retaliation may wish to hire an employment law attorney. The attorney may be able to seek compensation in the form of back pay and punitive damages.
Source: KMSP-TV, “Kluwe still planning to sue Vikings“, Iris Perez, July 20, 2014