Kluwe backtracks, says he's okay with Priefer coaching if he disavows anti-gay views
Both the Vikings and Kluwe have lawyered up as the team investigates his allegations about Coach Priefer (left)
In his explosive Deadspin account of the end of his Vikings tenure, Chris Kluwe said he went public with his story mainly because he wanted to make sure allegedly homophobic special teams coach Mike Priefer "never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level."
THE BACKSTORY: Is Kluwe telling the truth about Coach Mike Priefer's alleged "nuke the gays" comment?
Kluwe alleges that at one team meeting during his last season with the Vikings, Priefer, indirectly commenting on Kluwe's staunch support for marriage equality, said, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows." Priefer denies the accusation.
But during an appearance last night on Fox Sports Live, Kluwe backtracked a bit, acknowledging he "may have been a little too harsh originally."
"After thinking about it, after reflecting on it, I don't think an appropriate punishment is if he never coaches again," Kluwe said (quotes via ESPN). "I think it would be better if he got therapy, if he got counseling, and then a year or two from now, come back into the league as a role model, help out with LGBT groups, and show people that this is an important issue."
But those comments didn't sit well with former Star Tribune Vikings beat writer Kevin Seifert, who now covers the Purple for ESPN. In a commentary about Kluwe's Fox Sports appearance, Seifert wrote, "As a result of Kluwe's initial story, Priefer is and will forever be the alleged homophobic assistant coach in the eyes of any NFL owner asked to sign off on his hiring."
"His attempt to leverage Priefer into advocacy might well be a positive result for gay rights, but it won't do much to enhance the career implications of Kluwe's initial allegations," Seifert continued. "One way or the other, the damage is done here."
Seifert's criticism, however, didn't pass muster with Kluwe, who engaged the ESPN scribe in a Twitter argument this morning. To read it, click to page two.
The quote Seifert refers to in his first tweet is the one Kluwe made on Fox Sports about being "too harsh originally":
@SeifertESPN Not walking back from bigot. What he said was bigoted. However, if he can legitimately change, I think that's a better lesson.-- Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) January 8, 2014
@SeifertESPN And that's now journalism? Instead of actually gathering information? Don't want to be a dick, but you influence perception.-- Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) January 8, 2014
@SeifertESPN Yeah, read it. Though it's interesting how all the things you're worried about *may* happen to Priefer already happened to me.-- Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) January 8, 2014
@SeifertESPN Fair enough. I've presented my case as logically and completely as I know how, it's your mind to make up.-- Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) January 8, 2014
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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