SBD/January 6, 2014/Franchises

Vikings Hire Attorneys To Investigate Kluwe Allegations On Circumstances Of His Release

Kluwe accused special teams coach Mike Priefer of making anti-gay comments
The Vikings have retained prominent Minneapolis-based law firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Partners Eric Magnuson and Chris Madel "to lead an investigation into the allegations" made by former P Chris Kluwe, according to John Vomhof Jr. of the MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL BUSINESS JOURNAL. Kluwe in an article for Deadspin "blamed his release on his support of legalizing same-sex marriage" and "accused Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer of making anti-gay comments" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/3). ESPN.com's Ben Goessling reported the investigation as of Friday afternoon "had already begun" and it "could move quickly." The Vikings "likely want to get to the bottom of the issue in time for a new coach to decide if Priefer could join his staff." But the "lingering question" is "What, exactly, will the review be able to uncover?" Magnuson and Madel "won't be able to force players to comply with the investigation, or testify under oath to what they might have seen or heard" (ESPN.com, 1/4). In St. Paul, Brian Murphy wrote hiring Magnuson and Madel was a "shrewd and timely public relations move by the Vikings," but their "inability to compel sworn testimony from potential witnesses might make the truth more elusive." A source said that the preliminary witness list "includes about 30 names" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/4).

HIRING PRACTICES: In Minneapolis, Jim Souhan wrote Vikings Owner Zygi Wilf is "about to make his first coaching hire as an experienced, sentient NFL owner." This will be "the hire that defines him." Wilf "should be able to separate hype from reality, and allow knowledge and experience to overrule his excitable nature." He "should be ready for his close-up" and "should be ready to prove he can do more than write out a check" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/5).
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