Mike Priefer retained as special teams coordinator amid investigation
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The Vikings announced its coaching staff Thursday, and perhaps the inclusion that raised the most eyebrows is special teams coordinator Mike Priefer.
Chris Kluwe published a scathing piece on Deadspin in early January, in which he accused Priefer of being a bigot and making anti-gay remarks. Priefer has since denied those allegations, and the Vikings say they've hired two partners -- former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Eric Magnuson and attorney Chris Madel -- to conduct an outside review.
Priefer is under contract for 2014, and has been announced to the staff before the review is completed.
The Vikings confirmed Thursday in an email to 1500 ESPN that the investigation is still ongoing, but declined to make available for comment Kevin Warren, the team's Vice President of Legal Affairs & Chief Administrative Officer.
Team spokesman Jeff Anderson said the team will withhold further comment on Priefer until "the process is finished and the results are reviewed."
Kluwe's lawyer apparently didn't think highly of the decision to retain Priefer amid the investigation. He called the investigation a "charade" in an interview with Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
Kluwe's attorney, Clayton Halunen, told the Pioneer Press that he will take legal action against Priefer and the team.
Kluwe appeared in a video interview with Peter King, of MMQB.com. As part of the interview, King asked Kluwe if there had been any closure in the investigation.
"Nothing yet, just waiting for the investigation to finish up. I think they had to go interview quite a few more people. I cooperated fully, told them everything they asked about," Kluwe told King. "To me, this is something that, I don't think Mike Priefer, as he is now, should be coaching because I don't think he's a good role model. But I think if he's legitimately willing to change and to understand why the things he said were harmful, then I think he can be a good role model and a good coach. But it will take time for him to do that."
It was not clear if the MMQB interview was conducted before or after it was known Priefer was retained. Priefer's inclusion in early February doesn't guarantee he'll be on the staff to open the season.