:::: UPDATE :::: Today, Kluwe's lawyer, Clayton Halunen, announced plans to file suit against the Vikings have been put on hold, pending further settlement discussions between his client and the organization. Halunen said he plans to push for release of the full report as part of any agreement.
We contacted the Vikings for a response to Halunen's annoucement. Team spokesman Jeff Anderson sent us this statement:
Yesterday, Clayton Halunen contacted a Vikings attorney to request that the two sides engage in conversation. We believe that we have comprehensively investigated Halunen's client Chris Kluwe's claims that were put forth in the January 2, 2014, Deadspin article and have taken the appropriate action to ensure that we continue to have a workplace environment that respects tolerance, diversity, and inclusion. We are willing to listen to Mr. Halunen's continued concerns but will have no further comment in the interim.Original post (July 22) -- As we told you about yesterday, Chris Kluwe's beef with the Vikings escalated over the weekend after a 29-page summary of an internal investigation into allegations Kluwe made in an infamous Deadspin piece came down mostly on the team's side.
Kluwe believes key evidence gathered during the six-month investigation didn't make it into the summary, and he wants the Vikings to release the entire report, which he says the organization promised it'd do anyway when the investigation was first announced. But with the Vikings showing no signs of reconsidering its stance, Kluwe has taken to Change.org in hopes public pressure might sway team decision makers.
"I believe my public support for LGBT rights cost me my job," Kluwe writes on the petition page. "The organization said it has investigated this claim, but it hasn't publicly released the full investigation report yet, which it had promised to do. That's why I'm asking you to sign this petition, and urge the Vikings to make the entire investigation findings public."
"Now that the six-month investigation is complete, the team does not want to make the complete findings public. Why?" he continues. "Is the organization hiding something? I believe the Vikings should be fully transparent so that the Minneapolis community, Vikings fans and the nation can hold the team accountable for what happened here."
The petition, which is addressed to Zygi Wilf, has nearly 1,200 signatures as of this morning.
Twin Cities attorney and media personality Ron Rosenbaum said he thinks the Vikings are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot by refusing to release the report publicly.
On his "Holding Court" podcast last Thursday, Rosenbaum said, "Sooner than later that report is going to be out -- why don't you put it out and put your spin on it, no matter what it shows?"
"I don't think [the Vikings] have any choice," he continued. "Given the fact there was such a public hubbub about, 'We want to investigate ourselves, we want to see if what Kluwe said, these horrible allegations, are true.' I mean, how much did the public just pump into a Vikings stadium? This is the same organization."
"I don't think the Vikings are going to be able to skate on this," Rosembaum added. "At least if they put the damn report out, they at least get the first say about the spin."
Rosenbaum's analysis was echoed by his guest on the podcast, Minneapolis criminal defense attorney Joe Friedberg.
"Were I Kluwe's lawyer, since there's no question that the Vikings promised [to release it] when that report was done... I'd sue the Vikings for breach of contract and make [the organization] turn that report over, because there was consideration for the promise," Friedberg said. "[Kluwe] stood still on the lawsuit in return for the promise to turn it over. Before I'd go suing anybody about the actual mess that took place, I'd want to read the report and he's got a right to read it."
"The Vikings are making themselves look so bad," Friedberg added.