11:07am: The Vikings have issued a statement denying Kluwe’s claim that the team is withholding the findings of the investigation. According to the statement, the team has engaged a law firm to evaluate the findings and make recommendations to the Vikings, and the club’s attorneys are scheduled to meet with Kluwe’s attorney this Thursday to discuss next steps.
“The Vikings will have further comment when the investigation is entirely complete and the team has made determinations on next steps,” the statement concludes.
At Kluwe’s press conference, meanwhile, it was announced that the punter plans to file suit against the Vikings for not releasing the report, as he had suggested to KFAN earlier today. Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets that Kluwe will sue the Vikings for religious discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, defamation, and tortuous interference. According to Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune (via Twitter), Kluwe says he’ll consider dropping that lawsuit if the team releases the report — indeed, according to Pelissero (via Twitter), the punter and his attorney are painting the suit as a means for getting the club to release the report.
9:45am: Based on what he has heard, Ben Goessling of ESPN.com would be skeptical about the idea that the Vikings are really refusing to release the report on the Kluwe investigation. Goessling suspects that the NFL may be working with the club to determine how to release the findings, and speculates that the Vikings may want to wait until after MLB’s All-Star Game, which is taking place in Minnesota tonight, to make an announcement (all Twitter links).
8:31am: Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report reported early this morning (via Twitter) that the independent investigation into Chris Kluwe‘s allegations about the Vikings organization was complete, with a press conference expected for today. However, according to Kluwe, that presser won’t be the kind he anticipated — the former Minnesota punter tweeted today that the Vikings have refused to provide a copy of the report to either Kluwe or the public.
Kluwe, 32, alleged in a January article on Deadspin.com that his release by the Vikings came as a result of his outspoken support of gay marriage. According to Kluwe, special teams coordinator Mike Priefer “openly and privately made homophobic comments and slurs intended to intimidate” the punter while he remained on the roster.
Following Kluwe’s allegations, the Vikings hired two “highly respected Minnesota legal figures to conduct an independent investigation.” While the team initially promised to provide the findings of that investigation to Kluwe and his attorney, the Vikings have now reneged on that promise, according to the punter.
We’ve yet to hear from the Vikings, and today’s press conference, which is scheduled for 11:00am central time, could provide more clarity. For now though, it’s not a good look for the club that it appears unwilling to release the report to Kluwe or the public. After all, if the investigation cleared the franchise and its coaches of any wrongdoing, it seems there’d be no reason not to announce that publicly.