Kluwe: Calling for ex-coach’s job was ‘harsh’

Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe said Tuesday night that he “may have been a little too harsh originally” in calling for the end of his former coach’s career.

In an appearance on “Fox Sports Live,” Kluwe said he hopes that Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer can instead make “legitimate change” in his views on gay rights and be a role model once resuming his career.

Kluwe spent his final season with the Vikings in 2012 advocating for same-sex marriage. In an article posted last week on Deadspin.com, Kluwe quoted Priefer as saying, “We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows.”

Kluwe also wrote in the article that Priefer is a “bigot.”

“If there’s one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it’s to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level,” Kluwe wrote in the article.

On Tuesday night, however, Kluwe backed down from his assertion that Priefer should never coach again.

“After thinking about it, after reflecting on it, I don’t think an appropriate punishment is if he never coaches again,” Kluwe said during his appearance. “I think it would be better if he got therapy, if he got counseling, and then a year or two from now, come back into the league as a role model, help out with LGBT groups, and show people that this is an important issue.

“What he said is very hurtful, but people can change.”

The Vikings have hired two attorneys to conduct an independent investigation. Priefer remains under contract with the team.

  • ESPN.com national NFL writer
  • ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
  • Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008

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