Ex-Viking Chris Kluwe’s Deadspin comments traveled far and fast. Reaction wasn’t hard to find. At USA Today, Tom Pelissero writes: “Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh is backing special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, whom former punter Chris Kluwe alleged Thursday used homophobic language towards him and pushed to release him over his stand on same-sex marriage. ‘I have had countless conversations and interactions with coach Priefer, and I personally can attest to his integrity and character,’ Walsh wrote in a statement emailed to USA TODAY Sports.”
At Fox Sports, Kevin Lincoln writes: “I believe Kluwe. I believe what he recounts about Priefer and I think he was likely cut from the team, and can no longer find a job, because of his activism. But this situation requires a little more nuance than that. … I believe Mike Freeman when he says that NFL players have been blacklisted because they are gay. I agree with Will Leitch when he says that Aaron Rodgers’ need to deny rumors about being gay are indicative of a league that, if anything, is becoming even less receptive to an out player.”
For ESPN, Kevin Seifert writes: “If anything, Kluwe’s advocacy was the final push off the plank. Fair or otherwise, NFL teams don’t have much tolerance for middling performers who draw more attention off the field than on it, be it for social causes or television commercials. Kluwe’s stated confidence that his ‘activism was the reason I got fired’ is a convenient storyline, one that has already drawn a great deal of attention, but it isn’t supported by the full set of facts. … The Vikings did not mention Priefer in a statement released Thursday afternoon, focusing only on their dealings with Kluwe … They promised ‘further comment at the appropriate time,’ and I can only hope that comes after a thorough investigation into Priefer’s language and methods.”
This place has problems … Says Mike Hughlett in the Strib: “During the past nine months, federal meat regulators have cited a southern Minnesota beef processor for multiple breaches of humane slaughtering rules, suspending the plant’s production four times. The most recent such sanction came just last month for Triple J Family Farms in Buffalo Lake, which opened in 2012 with a goal of processing 600 cattle per day. The plant, which takes in cattle from Minnesota and the Dakotas, caters to the kosher beef market. … ineffective stuns caused animals to suffer significant pain for minutes, according to Farm Sanctuary, a national farm animal protection organization. The group has asked the USDA to permanently withdraw federal meat inspectors from Triple J, given the plant’s multiple violations.”
At Al Jazeera America, Amel Ahmed covers the ruling requiring Xcel to pull more power from solar installations: “Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard requires utilities to provide 25 percent of their total electrical generation from renewable sources by 2025. The combustion of fossil fuels to generate electricity is the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. … The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that up to 30 percent of plant and animal species face extinction by mid-century if global warming is left unchecked.” Did any of the local TV news folks drop that additional info into their reports?
One Minneapolis cop is getting a lot of court time. Says Matt McKinney in the Strib: “A jury has awarded $125,000 to a St. Louis Park man who alleged in a federal lawsuit that an off-duty Minneapolis police officer challenged him to a fight at a bar, then knocked him out, leaving him with a concussion. Jeremy Axel, an IT salesman, spent the night at Hennepin County Medical Center after his encounter Nov. 4, 2011, with officer Michael Griffin. … The officer is also the subject of a second, pending lawsuit stemming from a similar incident on May 29, 2010, when he got into an argument with a man while off duty outside a downtown bar, followed the man down the sidewalk before catching up to him and knocking him out.” Not “knocked down” … knocked “out.”
On the big West Bank fire … . CenterPoint isn’t buying the natural gas leak explanation. A Strib quartet reports: “[Fire Chief John] Fruetel also said that investigators are not certain what caused the fire and they may never be certain. He said four or five investigators have been on the site around the clock, looking for evidence such as debris patterns. A spokeswoman for the natural gas utility CenterPoint Energy strongly discounted natural gas as a likely cause. ‘We had no natural gas in the area,’ said Rebecca Virden, basing her information on CenterPoint’s own investigation and testing in the area. If it were attributed to natural gas, Virden added, ‘the roof would come off, the walls would come out.’ ”
Tad Vezner of the PiPress reports: “After his mother wished a bar patron a happy New Year, a St. Paul man poked the patron’s eye, permanently blinding him, according to police.” He goes on to say, “The injured man said [Kinseth] Sorlien’s mother had walked up to him, hugged him, and wished him Happy New Year. Shortly after, Sorlien slapped the back of his head, the man told police. When the man objected, Sorlien left the bar, but came back and hit him in the eye, blinding him, the man said.”
It’s good to know the Twin Cities’ fashionista scene is so well-developed … Nancy Ngo at the PiPress says: “MNfashion announced Thursday it will no longer be hosting events such as The Shows, Voltage and Emerging Designers Showcase during Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week. The nonprofit organization has been a longtime fixture and go-to resource for spring and fall Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week. … ‘A lot of designers are already hosting their own shows during this time. What they needed from us now is very different from what they needed from us two years ago,’ said Tara Murphy, MNfashion managing director. ‘MNfashion has come to a point where we have outgrown our current business practice.’ ” Just wondering here, but does Green Bay have a Fashion Week?