The Minnesota Vikings made their deposit to the Friday news dump with the announcement that the team would suspend special teams coordinator Mike Priefer for three games after an independent investigation concluded that he made a homophobic comment. From Sports Illustrated:
The investigation came after Kluwe wrote a first-person article on Deadspin alleging that the Vikings organization had discouraged him from publicly advocating for marriage equality and that Priefer had made offensive and homophobic comments directed at Kluwe. Kluwe also alleged that the Vikings released him due to his outspoken activism for marriage equality.
The investigation concluded that Kluwe had not been released from the Vikings because of his same-sex marriage activism, although it was cited as a distraction to the team. Rather, the organization put the bulk of the blame for Kluwe's release on his "declining" performance as well as his high salary.
What did stick out most prominently here was the confirmation of Priefer's comments, which he had vehemently denied at first:
Vikings admit coach said: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island and then nuke it until it glows" http://t.co/dOurN54n2s— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) July 19, 2014
On Friday, Priefer also responded:
I owe an apology to many people - the Wilf family, the Minnesota Vikings organization and fans, my family, the LGBT community, Chris Kluwe and anyone else that I offended with my insensitive remark. I regret what has occurred and what I said. I am extremely sorry but I will learn from this situation and will work on educating others to create more tolerance and respect."
And so the debate began:
The Vikings keeping Mike Priefer around is just a disgrace. Nobody should be able to keep a job after freely making comments like that.— Peter Schrader (@pschrades21) July 19, 2014
Priefer can reduce his suspension to two games if he attends "individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training."