Vikings to host first-ever LGBTQ event held by NFL team
The Minnesota Vikings have announced the team will host a summit and fundraiser focused on how to promote LGBTQ inclusion in sports and raise money for LBGTQ groups. The event, to be held on June 21 at the team’s new headquarters, will occur just a few days before the Twin Cities Pride Parade. It is believed to be the first event of its kind ever put on by an NFL team, according to Samantha Rapoport, the NFL’s director of football development.
The event was initially organized due to an issue involving former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, who accused special teams coordinator Mike Priefer of using homophobic slurs during Kluwe’s tenure with the team.
Kluwe threatened to sue the Vikings in 2014 over the incidents and later claimed his activism and outspoken nature on such issues played a role in his release in 2013. The parties later settled their issues, which included the planning of the upcoming event.
“We obviously had our issues a while ago, but this is our way of looking forward and trying to figure out how we make sure that we set the stage for that not to happen again,” Kluwe said, via the Star Tribune. “I think that it’s the ideal outcome in that, at the end of the day, hopefully this will help a lot of people that otherwise might not have gotten that help.”
The Vikings organization, meanwhile, preferred to look forward and stress how the summit and fundraiser is how to overcome mistakes of the past, not dwell on them.
“2014 was unfortunate on multiple levels, but one thing I can say about this organization and to commend Chris is we were able to look over the horizon,” Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren said. “The easy thing to do is to be negative and to judge what could or could not have been done. The more mature thing to do is to say: What can we do to take a situation where we can really grow and make a difference in the lives of people?”