Minneapolis employment law attorney discusses the basic facts of the dispute between punter Chris Kluwe and the Minnesota Vikings.
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The Chris Kluwe case is one of the most interesting cases I’ve had the enjoyment as an attorney of being able to be involved in. My client was a professional football player, worked for the Minnesota Vikings as a punter. Minnesota was dealing with a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, so different groups, LGBT groups, reached out to Chris Kluwe, who was a straight ally, and asked him if he would help in their cause to try to vote no on this constitutional amendment, to get out there publicly to encourage people to vote no. And Chris Kluwe did. He marched in parades. He was involved in events. I mean he went all out ’cause he really believed that this was wrong, that all people should have the right to marry.
Well, when he did that, his coach started harassing him, started to give him a lot of grief about going with the gays, supporting the gays, even made some horrific comment about gays all being nuked on an island and that’s what should happen to those kinds of people. So it was horrific stuff. And when that happened, my client finally said, “No, this isn’t okay.” I mean in the beginning maybe it was a joke, but this was serious, and he complained about it. He complained about it to management, and then his contract was not renewed just weeks later. And so the case was going to be about wrongful termination of my client.