SBD/1/Franchises

VIKINGS UNDER FIRE FROM EMPLOYEE SUITS

     Vikings President Roger Headrick admitted yesterday that the
team needs to change the way "it deals with people in the
organization."  Headrick made the comments to KFAN-AM radio after
recent reports that "revealed widespread fear and bitterness
concerning the treatment" of Vikings players, coaches and
employees.  Headrick: "This is an area where we obviously need to
do some more and handle things perhaps a little differently. ...
And obviously its an area we need to work on."  Coach Dennis
Green said he "didn't expect everyone to agree with things we say
or do, but we have never intentionally been callous."  Green made
his comments in a videotaped statement sent to local TV stations
(Brown & Roberts, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 2/1).  In yesterday's
STAR TRIBUNE, columnist Patrick Reusse blames Headrick and Green
for operating the team "in a manner that made it seem as through
they relished getting rid of people."  Reusse, who chronicles the
team's internal problems:  "Yes, in the arrogant world that has
been created at Winter Park [Vikings HQ] in recent years, a
$150,000 sexual-harassment settlement can be explained away as an
internal matter."  Dan Barreiro writes, "On the same weekend the
49ers were putting on championship rings, another pro football
organization was putting out fires, denying it is running a frat
house, replete with hazing, fear and loathing" (Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE, 1/31).  From an editorial in Tuesday's ST. PAUL PIONEER
PRESS: "Just because the business is professional football --
with all its images of power, violence and male dominance --
doesn't mean female employees should be treated with any less
dignity and respect than what they should receive anywhere else"
(ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/31).
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