The Minnesota Vikings dealt a three-game suspension to special teams coordinator Mike Priefer after an independent investigation found Priefer made a homophobic remark to former punter Chris Kluwe in 2012, the team said Friday. The incident came to light after Kluwe penned a blistering, tell-all account for Deadspin in January 2014 that detailed an alleged pattern of homophobic behavior from Priefer, including the comment, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island and nuke it until it glows." Kluwe also claimed that the Vikings released him in May 2013 not for his performance on the football field, but for his vocal support of same-sex marriage. While the investigation found the latter claim to be false, there was enough evidence to conclude "that Priefer made the single homophobic statement to Kluwe … after becoming frustrated" with Kluwe during practice. "I regret what has occurred and what I said," Priefer said in a statement from the team. "I am extremely sorry but I will learn from this situation and work on educating others to create more tolerance and respect."
But Priefer's suspension likely won't be the last chapter in this saga. After the Vikings publicized the results of the investigation, Kluwe told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he was disappointed with the findings and planned to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination that could amount to more than $10 million in damages, all of which he would donate to LGBT groups. “It’s full of lies,’’ Kluwe told Tomasson, referring to the investigation. “It just shows that the Vikings clearly don’t want to get to the bottom of a culture that clearly protects homophobic behavior." The former punter, who hasn't worked in the NFL since the Vikings released him, also took to his Twitter on Saturday to draw a parallel between the Vikings' investigation and the extensive investigation into harassment at the Miami Dolphins earlier this year, indicating he believes the Vikings have more dirty laundry left to air out. "We'll save all that for the trial," he tweeted. "It'll be more fun that way."
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