Kluwe and Vikings settle out of court; cash goes to ‘human rights and anti-hate causes’

Ex-punter/social media activist Chris Kluwe and the Vikings have settled out of court. At USA Today Tom Pelissero says, “The lawyer for former punter Chris Kluwe says the Minnesota Vikings have reached a settlement with his client, ending the threat of a lawsuit over Kluwe’s release. ‘The parties intend to hold a joint press conference early next week to make public the terms of a settlement arrived at late last night,’ Kluwe’s lawyer, Clayton Halunen, wrote in a text message to USA TODAY Sports. Halunen declined to reveal terms of the settlement because it had not yet been executed.”

In MPR’s story Tim Nelson and Jon Collins say, “The Vikings said Tuesday that they were making a financial contribution to ‘human rights and anti-hate causes’ and would improve sensitivity training for team personnel. Details of the payments were not disclosed, although Kluwe’s attorney, Clayton Halunen, said the contributions would go to five charities that advocate for the rights of gays, lesbians and others.”

It’s official(ly low) … The AP says, “Certified results from last week’s Minnesota primary show just more than 10 percent of the state’s eligible voters cast ballots. … Turnout was slightly better than 2012, but below 2010 when the state last had a competitive gubernatorial primary, that one on the Democratic side.” So if the caucuses are a problem, how much better is this?

A post-primary poll check: MPR’s Tom Scheck says, “Rasmussen Reports has two polls out this week that show DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL Sen. Al Franken leading their Republican rivals. The poll, which surveyed 750 likely voters in Minnesota on August 13 and 14, found that Franken leads Republican nominee Mike McFadden by 8  percentage points. … The poll also found that Dayton is leading Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson by 8 points. Dayton had 49 percent support while Johnson had 41 percent.”

Prosecutors are adamant about Jeffrey Lepsch not getting a new trial. Anne Jungen of the LaCrosse Tribune writes, “Prosecutors argue a Minnesota man who murdered a father and son at their downtown La Crosse camera store isn’t entitled to a new trial. Jeffrey Lepsch’s three trial attorneys did not fail him when selecting jurors to hear the 2013 trial as his new attorney contends, La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke argued in a brief filed Monday. … Surveillance video and cellphone and vehicle records led investigators to Lepsch, who at the time of the killings was a broke, unemployed hobby photographer living in Dakota, Minn. Investigators traced every piece of equipment stolen from May’s [camera shop] to Lepsch — whether in his home, his van or sold over the Internet to support his family of five.”

Speaking of “militarization” … Tad Vezner of the PiPress reports on last night’s bizarre black helicopter exercise. “With no warning for residents, military helicopters flew low Monday evening over St. Paul and Minneapolis in a federal training exercise, about which officials released almost no information. The exercise — reportedly involving U.S. Navy Seals with Army pilots, engaging in rappelling exercises in an urban setting — began just before 8 p.m. and was scheduled to last until midnight. The St. Paul police watch commander initially had no information on the exercise. He was later informed that it was a training exercise involving Homeland Security and local law enforcement.”

Here’s video from MPR’s Tim Nelson.

Meanwhile … Dave Unze in the St. Cloud Times talked to the local cops about their need for military toys. “St. Cloud has found its way into the debate, 10 months after unveiling a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle known as an MRAP. While critics say there is no need for that type of vehicle in a city of St. Cloud’s size, the city’s police chief begs to differ. … The MRAP has been used at standoffs where a person with weapons is barricaded and won’t come out. It’s been used to serve ‘high-risk’ search warrants where the subject is presumed armed and dangerous.” Personally, I always stay in the Green Zone when I’m in St. Cloud.

Thank you … Brandi Jewett of the Forum News Service says, “Residents from Warroad have spoken and an organization threatening to sue its school district over the use of an American Indian logo, the Warriors, has listened. The National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media rescinded an Aug. 15 letter it sent to Warroad Public Schools threatening legal action if the district does not begin transitioning away from the logo.” This’ll go better if we stick to the egregious stuff.

Finally, in City Pages Youa Vang interviews Jeff “The Dude” Bridges prior to his Saturday night concert in Minneapolis. “Expect some nerves when he does come through the Pantages Theatre on Sunday evening for his show with the Abiders. The performer admits to apprehension before any big project. He shares, ‘It’s the human condition. I get anxious before I get in front of a camera or onstage. I still get butterflies, but once I get out there, I feel pretty relaxed. It’s like jumping in the ocean. That first wave, you have to let it go over you and swim around.’ Ruminating on that for a few seconds, he adds, ‘You were asking me about advice a little bit ago. Don’t worry about mistakes; there are none.’ “

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Comments (19)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/19/2014 - 02:35 pm.

    The helicopters are real!

    It scared the crap out of me last night! It literally shook my whole house, and when I ventured outside to try and see what was going on, I couldn’t see a thing (not surprising now that I know it was black helicopters flying overhead probably without lights).

    In the various articles and comments sections, it is also reported that these helicopters were flying down BETWEEN BUILDINGS in both downtowns. Yeah – no possibility for an unfortunate incident there, right?

    This is just crazy. Flying military training exercises within a densely-populated urban area with absolutely no advance warning of what was about to take place? The public deserves to be treated more respectfully than that.

    Furthermore, considering the current paramilitary operations currently taking place nightly down in Ferguson, Missouri, this whole thing is incredibly tone-deaf. Especially given the somewhat tense interactions between police and Minneapolis neighborhood protestors just a couple of days ago.

    These “exercises” should never have taken place without advance notice and warning. They should not be permitted to fly low between buildings. Whoever granted permission for this (that’s probably classified, too) should get that permission withdrawn and make sure any future plans for such “exercises” are actually undertaken with some appreciation of common sense, citizen safety, and respect for the affected public.

    Mayors of both cities have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 08/19/2014 - 03:54 pm.

      It isn’t tone deaf, it’s preparatory.

      Neither mayor has any power whatsoever over these federal authorities, military, and paramilitary. Did the Gestapo or SS ask permissions from the mayor of Berlin ??

      Also, “respect for the affected public” ?? Sorry, Ms. Berg, but this has become a thing of the past.

  2. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 08/19/2014 - 03:02 pm.

    Jeff Bridges

    The Dude abides.

  3. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/19/2014 - 03:12 pm.

    On the otherhand…

    I, for one, am grateful for any training these heroes do on my behalf. When I think back to all the things that went wrong with FDNY and police on 9/11, there is never such a thing as “enough” training.

    I would agree that it would be reasonable to ask why advance notice wasn’t given. But I’d also accept a reasonable explanation (such as the crowd of gawkers it would have attracted).

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/19/2014 - 04:45 pm.

      Will you be as forgiving . . . . .

      when one of them crashes into one of the downtown buildings they’re dive-bombing between in their effort to re-enact Luke Skywalker’s taking of the Death Star?

      • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/20/2014 - 08:06 am.

        Actually, yes

        I’d like to ask the 3,000 plus people who died on 9/11 how they’d feel about communication problems in the Twin Towers, but I can’t seem to get their opinions. See, you can’t have it both ways. People like you are always the first to complain when an emergency response is insufficient.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/20/2014 - 09:10 am.

          “People like you”?

          Assume much?

          • Submitted by Pat Berg on 08/20/2014 - 10:16 am.

            And by the way . . . . .

            The “Night Stalkers” (that’s the name of that black helicopter unit that was buzzing buildings in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul) are an Army unit that deploys overseas. These training exercises have nothing to do with improving local crisis communications or addressing “all the things that went wrong with FDNY and police on 9/11”.

            These guys fly combat attack missions. Overseas.

            And they’re using the airspace of our densely-populated urban areas to do practice runs. ‘Cuz – ya’ know – better to run into an American building by mistake and get it out of your system here, right?

            So don’t go trying to defend this as a means to improve police readiness. Because it had absolutely nothing to do with that.

            • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/21/2014 - 09:14 am.

              I’m good with it

              As long as those who are in the middle of the training exercises get warning. I want our soldiers to be ready for the dangers that lie elsewhere. If that means training exercises on American soil, fine. I am much better about this training exercise (with the exception of the part where NO ONE WAS WARNED) than the militaries in our back yard–the level of armament of many police forces is ridiculous. If military level weaponry or vehicles are needed, they should be shared in large areas. So, no, St. Cloud doesn’t need a mine-proof truck. Ever.

  4. Submitted by David Wintheiser on 08/19/2014 - 04:56 pm.

    Kluwe/Vikings settlement

    Kluwe himself revealed some of the terms of the settlement over Twitter earlier today:

    “1. They [the Vikings] will donate a substantial amount to five charities, several MN local, over the next five years.

    “2. They [the Vikings] are implementing advanced training within the entire organization, and are committed to a zero tolerance policy on homophobia.

    “3. The Vikings will be working to create a symposium to bring together sports and LBGTQ [lesbian-bisexual-gay-transgender-queer] leaders in order to address this issue in sports.”

    Kluwe also notes that he personally is not getting any financial settlement from the deal, and that he believes that the Vikings organization will be leaders on the subject of homophobia in sports.

    • Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 08/20/2014 - 05:05 am.

      I’m surprised..

      I’m surprised that the Vikings were not ordered to trade for Michael Sam, the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL. Maybe when he bombs out in St. Louis he will be offered a big payday here.

      • Submitted by jason myron on 08/20/2014 - 01:29 pm.

        That’s what I love about what passes

        for conservatives these days. The homophobia, the misogyny, the xenophobia…it’s all there just under the surface. The latent disgust and contempt for anyone or anything that challenges their antiquated cultural views just pops out…you people have no control over it. The best part is the obligatory slam at Sam’s athletic ability. As if the opinion of some couch potato from Woodbury who probably risks pulling a hamstring every time he rises from the couch to go grab that next Miller is relevant in handicapping the odds of an SEC Defensive Player of the Year to make the NFL.

        • Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 08/20/2014 - 06:52 pm.

          Not at all.

          Mr Myron, You have it all wrong. First of all I don’t drink. Second I am able to recognize the bullyish nature of the gay agenda and their storm troopers while you are blind to it.

          • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/21/2014 - 09:39 am.


            Gay Storm Troopers. I support this new branch of the armed services. Brought to you by the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

        • Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 08/31/2014 - 12:12 pm.


          Michael Sam was cut yesterday.

  5. Submitted by jason myron on 08/20/2014 - 08:46 pm.


    thanks for reinforcing my point… that was too easy. By the way, what is the “gay agenda?” Is that where the “storm troopers” beat down your door, make you redecorate your tacky kitchen, dress you in Prada and force you to marry a guy named Steve?

    • Submitted by Jonathan Ecklund on 08/21/2014 - 10:42 am.


      My guess is he sees the ‘Gay Agenda’ as some sort of political ‘Third Position.’ Given the references to storm troopers, I’d say that makes sense, which means Godwin’s law is already in effect here.

  6. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 08/21/2014 - 02:21 pm.

    “The gay agenda”

    I always laugh – now that it is merely funny, it wasn’t always – when I see this phrase used.

    Is the gay agenda equal rights for people regardless of sexual orientation?

    Or is it something else? And if so, what?

    Some years ago a frequent conservative contributor to comments on MinnPost ran for school board in St. Paul against the gay agenda – whatever that is. He lost badly. To make matters worse, he was endorsed by the Minnesota GOP. Fortunately times have changed and many conservatives and other Republicans supported legalizing marriage for same sex couples.

    Perhaps it is time to retire forever the phrase “gay agenda”?

    Long overdue.

  7. Submitted by Richard Helle on 08/22/2014 - 08:16 am.

    Kluwe is a hero

    The phrase “Gay Agenda” is code. Just like “States Rights” and “Illegal Immigrant” are code phrases. We can count it as progress that bigots are forced to use these code phrases whenever they feel the need to express their hatred. The Vikings organization is paying the price for tolerating behavior that is simply not acceptable.

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