Tag Archives: anti-gay slurs

Vikings to donate $100,000 to LGBT groups after special teams coordinator makes anti-gay slur

The Minnesota Vikings will suspend special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games this season and donate $100,000 to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights groups in response to former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer.

The Vikings announced the punishment as part of a summary of findings by outside lawyers. The attorneys were hired in January to investigate Kluwe’s accusations, which included a claim he was released because of his advocacy for marriage equality and his campaign for LGBT rights.

The Vikings said Priefer’s ban could be reduced to two games, provided if he attends sensitivity training. Such education has been required for all Vikings employees, coaches and players on an annual basis for the past several years, the team said, and the improvements for the programs will be considered.

Chris Madel, a former Justice Department attorney, and Eric Magnuson, a former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, recently presented their report to the Vikings after interviewing 31 people and examining 121 gigabytes of data.

Priefer was questioned three times. According to a 29-page analysis of the investigation by employment law consultants Littler Mendelson and Donald Prophete, commissioned by the Vikings and released, Priefer initially denied making a remark Kluwe alleged about “putting all the gays on an island and nuking it” but later acknowledged he might have.

Long snapper Cullen Loeffler told the investigators he heard the same comment Kluwe did, but that he assumed Priefer was joking.

Also in the analysis of the investigation:

• Vikings officials were nearly unanimous in deciding Kluwe’s 2012 season was substandard, and the report said Priefer actually gave Kluwe a higher grade than any of the front-office evaluators. The Vikings have maintained the move to cut Kluwe was strictly football-based after they drafted Jeff Locke in the fifth round and Kluwe was due to make $1.45 million in the 2013 season at age 31.

• The investigators asked former Chicago general manager Jerry Angelo and former NFL punter Craig Hentrich to analyze Kluwe’s performance as well, and Hentrich gave Kluwe a “C” grade overall.

• The report also cited anecdotes from several interviewees about the penchant for off-color behavior by Kluwe, whose Internet and Twitter criticisms of various institutions and individuals have often contained obscene language. According to the report, Kluwe poked fun at Tom Kanavy, the strength and conditioning coach at the time, in a vulgar manner that made light of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at Penn State, where Kanavy attended and later worked.

In a statement from the team, Priefer apologized to owners Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf, the organization, the fans, his family, the LGBT community, Kluwe and “anyone else that I offended with my insensitive remark.”

Added Priefer, who was hired by the Vikings in 2011: “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.”

Kluwe, however, said he will still sue the team for discrimination against his gay-rights activism and agnostic beliefs, as well as defamation and wrongful interference of his contract. His attorney, Clayton Halunen, said the complaint will be filed in Hennepin County District Court this week, seeking $10 million in damages. They announced earlier this week their impending lawsuit and did not reach a settlement agreement with the team.

“Here we have this company, this Minnesota company who’s getting $400 million out of taxpayers’ funds to build the stadium, and yet they are violating state law by engaging in discriminatory conduct, and that is unacceptable,” Halunen said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: “We support our teams enforcing their workplace policies and commend the Wilfs for doing a thorough investigation and taking appropriate steps in response to the findings.”

The Wilf brothers, in a joint statement provided by the team, said Madel and Magnuson “were in full control of the investigation at all times.” They said they’re pleased Mendelson and Prophete “concluded that there was no wrongdoing” by the Vikings in releasing Kluwe.

“We are very disappointed with some of the findings contained within the report,” the Wilfs said. “As we have said in the past, we consistently strive to create – and believe we have – a supportive, respectful and accepting environment for our players, coaches and staff, and we strongly disassociate the club from the statement that Coach Priefer made. Coach Priefer is a good man, and we know that he deeply regrets the comment. We do not believe that this error in judgment should define him.”

FIFA investigates claims of anti-gay slurs by Mexico fans

FIFA said on June 19 it was investigating claims that Mexico fans chanted anti-gay slurs during their opening match against Cameroon.

FIFA said “disciplinary proceedings were opened against Mexico for improper conduct of spectators” last Friday in Natal.

The same chants were heard during Mexico’s second match against Brazil in Fortaleza earlier this week. They are often heard at matches is Mexico, usually as a keeper takes a goal kick.

“FIFA takes a firm, zero-tolerance stand against any form of discrimination or racism,” FIFA said in a statement.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff have pledged to use the World Cup as a platform to fight racism and discrimination.

Fare, the European fan-monitoring group, has also alerted FIFA to far-right banners displayed by Croatia and Russia fans inside stadiums.

FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer said no inquiry had been opened against any country other than Mexico.

Fischer said FIFA would make no other comment about the case because the investigation was “on-going.”

Woman who faked hate crime sentenced to a week in jail

A former University of Nebraska basketball star convicted of lying to police about being attacked in her home by masked men who carved anti-gay slurs into her skin was sentenced on April 18 to a week in jail and two years’ probation.

Charlie Rogers, who maintains that the attack last July did happen, cried and hugged family and friends as she left the courtroom. Neither she nor her family would comment after the hearing.

The reported attack provoked outrage and spread fear among Lincoln’s gay community, and hundreds of people turned out for a rally that weekend outside the state Capitol. At the time, Lincoln was debating whether to adopt a proposed “fairness ordinance” that would have banned discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, and tensions were high among those on both sides of the issue.

According to police, Rogers, who is a lesbian, said three masked men broke into her home, assaulted and subdued her, and carved anti-gay slurs and into various parts of her body before trying to set fire to the home and leaving. A neighbor told police Rogers crawled from her home naked, bleeding and screaming for help.

Prosecutors say her story quickly fell apart, and that she faked the attack because she thought it would inspire change in the treatment of gay people. They say Rogers purchased zip ties, a box cutter and white gloves shortly before the attack, and that the evidence didn’t support what she said had happened.

Judge Gale Pokorny read a message on her Facebook page shortly before the alleged attack, in which she wrote, “So maybe I am too idealistic, but I believe way deep inside me that we can make things better for everyone. I will be a catalyst. I will do what it takes. I will. Watch me.”

Rogers’ attorney, Brett McArthur, said that Rogers maintains her innocence, asked Pokorny to sentence her to only probation because she had no previous criminal history and is receiving counseling. But Pokorny said the evidence shows she is guilty and that jail time is warranted, and that Rogers ended up harming the cause she meant to champion.

“It exploded in her face. Ms. Rogers has single-handedly managed to do a disservice to her cause of enormous proportion,” Pokorny said. “For a long, long time to come, when a gay makes a legitimate complaint about unequal treatment or discrimination, there will be a knee-jerk reaction among many.”

Deputy County Attorney Patrick Condon told the judge probation wasn’t enough, considering the fear Rogers spread and the hours and resources police spent investigating her claims.

“It does have an effect on this community,” Condon said.

Rogers must report to jail April 29. In addition to probation and jail, she was ordered to complete 250 hours of community service for the city parks service in Lincoln.

Rogers played for Nebraska from 1996 through 2000, and finished her collegiate career as the team’s second all-time shot-blocker.

Fired Rutgers coach says he was wrong

Fired Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice says he was wrong to treat his players the way he did.

Speaking Wednesday outside his home in Little Silver, Rice says there’s no excuse for his behavior and he is sorry.

Rice says he let down his players, Rutgers and its fans and was an embarrassment to his family.

Rice was fired on April 3, a day after excerpts of videos were released publicly showing him yelling anti-gay slurs at players, throwing basketballs at them, and shoving and kicking them.

Rice says he had been working on changing after being confronted about his actions last year. He was suspended for three games in December.

FBI assisting in investigating attack on Nebraska lesbian

The FBI has been consulted as police in Lincoln, Neb., continue to investigate an assault on a lesbian in her home early July 22.

The woman told police that three men, wearing ski masks, broke into her home, tied her up, carved anti-gay slurs into her abdomen and arms, poured gasoline on the floor and set the house on fire.

The woman, whose name has been withheld, crawled from the home after the men left and found help at a neighbor’s. Witnesses said she was naked, bleeding and screaming for help at about 4 a.m. July 22.

Lincoln Police Department spokeswoman Katie Flood said there are no suspects in the incident, which authorities are treating as a hate crime.

As news of the crime spread rapidly in Lincoln, a vigil came together on July 22, with hundreds gathering outside the state Capitol Building. Additional vigils were scheduled for July 25 and July 26 in Lincoln and in Omaha.

On July 24, Lincoln police met with FBI agents, but declined to discuss the details. Federal law authorizes the investigation and prosecution of bias crime based on sexual orientation, as authorizes federal authorities to assist local police in bias-crime investigations.

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.

Nebraska lesbian assaulted, attackers carved slurs into skin

Police in Lincoln, Neb., are investigating an alleged anti-lesbian assault in which three men broke into a woman’s home, tied her up, carved into her skin and set her house on fire.

A candlelight vigil for the woman, whose name has not been publicized, took place at the state Capitol on July 22, according to the Omaha World-Staff newspaper.

Outlinc, a Lincoln gay-rights organization, said in a statement over the weekend that board members have confidence in the police investigation.

Outlinc president Tyler Richard stated: “We are shocked and saddened by the report of an alleged hate crime involving a member of the LGBT community early Sunday morning. Our hearts go out the the victim, her family and close friends. Many in our community are understandably experiencing a great deal of sadness, anger and confusion. We look to our entire community to pull together in this difficult time. Outlinc has full faith in the Lincoln Police Department who has a long history of support for Lincoln’s LGBT community. We trust that their investigation will be fair and complete and we await the results. As we consider the possible impetus for this horrific attack we are reminded more than ever why fairness is vital in our city.”

The police responded to the woman’s home at about 4 a.m. July 22. She reported that men wearing ski masks had broken in and assaulted her.

When police arrived they found the home still on fire, which caused about $200 in damage.

Police declined to say what was carved into the woman’s stomach, but a friend of the victim’s said the words included “dyke” and “slut.”

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.

Arrests made in D.C. teen stabbing

Three people were arrested for stabbing a teen near the Howard Theatre earlier this week in northwest Washington, D.C., and police are calling the incident a hate crime.

Police say a 16-year-old boy got into a fight with two men and a woman on a busy street on June 26. Investigators say anti-gay slurs were used in the assault.

Police are charging Desmond Campbell, Ali Jackson and Alyonica Jackson with assault with a dangerous weapon and the hate crime enhancement.

According to court documents, investigators believe Campbell put the teen in a headlock from behind while Ali Jackson stabbed him several times. Alyonica Jackson helped hold the boy down.

The teen was taken to Howard University Hospital in serious condition.

Download a PDF of the current issue of Wisconsin Gazette and join our Facebook community.