Openly gay Minnesota State Senator
Scott Dibble has called on the Minnesota Vikings to throughly
investigate former punter Chris Kluwe's claims that his gay marriage
advocacy ended his NFL career.
“As the most popular sports league in
America, the NFL has a huge influence on the attitudes of our
society, especially young people,” Dibble wrote in a letter
addressed to owner Zygi Wilf. “A failure to condemn discriminatory
values by employees or remaining silent to claims of intolerance
sends a signal not only to your own players and employees, but to all
Americans, that such behavior is acceptable or condoned.”
In a scathing op-ed published last
week, Kluwe said that he was fired by special-teams coordinator Mike
Priefer, whom he called a “bigot,” and two “cowards”:
then-head coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman.
Kluwe alleged that Priefer made several
anti-gay comments in the course of objecting to his advocacy on the
issue of marriage equality and quotes Priefer as saying during a team
meeting, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island,
and then nuke it until it glows.”
Priefer immediately and “vehemently”
denied the charges. The Vikings responded by hiring outside counsel
to investigate the claims.
“It is important for you to know how
much Chris Kluwe was appreciated for his candor, his humor and his
courage in stepping up during an important moment in our state's and
country's history,” added
Dibble, a prominent figure in Minnesota's marriage equality
debate. “If his perception of events are upheld, it would be a
shame to fail to rectify what would amount to a grave injustice.
Again, a negative message would be sent about what it means to stand
up and speak out.”