Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer says he is not a “bigot” and has denied allegations of discrimination made by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe according to a report by the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 3.
In an article published by Deadspin, Kluwe, who was very vocal about his pro-gay stance during his time with Minnesota, gives a first person account about the reasons he felt he was released by the Vikings and also made allegations that Pfiefer made homophobic comments.
The team has already made a statement refuting Kluwe’s allegations. And now Priefer has denied any form of discrimination, particularly comments Kluwe alleges he made about gays.
Mike Pfiefer says in a statement:
“I vehemently deny today’s allegations made by Chris Kluwe. I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member.”
Kluwe, however, felt his release from the team was more due to his pro-gay stance rather than his actual performance on the field which he felt was solid. He said that Pfiefer started making anti-gay comments after he became a gay rights advocate in support of gay marriage in 2012.
The allegations conflict against NFL policies and the atmosphere Pfiefer say he tried to create as a coach.
In his statement he continues:
“The primary reason I entered coaching was to affect people in a positive way. As a coach, I have always created an accepting environment for my players, including Chris, and have looked to support them both on and off the field.”
Priefer has received support from several players who has come to his defense including the punter who replaced Kluwe, Jeff Locke.