Holler: Timing of Kluwe report matters

The results of an investigation into allegations made by former Viking Chris Kluwe is supposed to come soon, but the timing of its release could affect the overall impact of the findings.

We've been waiting for months for the anticipated report on the allegations made by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe against the Vikings in general and Mike Priefer, Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier in particular. Two weeks ago, word leaked out that the report was close to being finalized. The final obstacle was rumored to be one or two key interviews of players that would be concluded before the Vikings had their mandatory minicamp last month.

That time has come and gone and the report has yet to be released. But, as rumors surfaced as to the source of the last delay – one or two crucial interviews – the same sort of buzz is bubbling that the report is going to be released soon.

Very soon. No, really, they mean it this time.

According to one report, the investigation is going to affirm the accusations made by Kluwe – that Priefer made homophobic remarks in a film session that Kluwe was offended by. But, so far, there is no report to back up that assertion.

The significant difference between whether the report had been released within a couple of weeks of the allegations being made – which likely would have been dismissed as a rush to judgment – and a report being released now is that, in the interim, Donald Sterling has reared his ugly, wrinkled, racist head.

And that spawned new momentum to get rid of the Redskins nickname.

And the NFL, with much fanfare, welcomed its first openly gay rookie.

These are heady days for a situation where accusations made have not been quickly addressed.

Three months ago, a wrist-slap conviction would have sufficed. In the immediate wake of the post-Sterling era, there may be a sentiment that examples will need to be made.

Nobody is going to win here. If Kluwe's allegations are judged to be unfounded, something tells us that won't be the end of it. There will almost surely be expletive-laced manifestos published by Web sites Deadspin decrying the decision and finding a vast conspiracy at the heart of it. That's how Chris rolls.

If the report finds that Priefer made the comments in question, there just as surely will be a call from some to put up a ceremonial sacrificial lamb. It's the times we live in. Truth has consequences.

The timing of the report, however, may be just as critical as its delay, regardless of the outcome. Not sure about any of you, but most people I know have some sort of plans over the 4th of July weekend. While many are still technically wired into the outside world, this weekend is the prototypical time for people to go luddite from the outside world for a couple of days – spending time with family and friends and getting away from the day to day of real life.

If the report is released Thursday afternoon – regardless of the verdict – will that be seen as a way of trying to minimize the impact of the findings? Whatever the report states as evidence and facts, even if there is bombardment coverage in the immediacy of its release, an inordinate segment of the population will be otherwise predisposed and not "catching up" to the news until two, three or even four days later.

By that time, to a large segment of the populous, it will be "old news."

Whether you think Kluwe's allegations are accurate or sparkle-pony sized sour grapes, he has the right to have his charges heard. Many in the court of public opinion have already weighed in on their view of whether the allegations have merit or reflect a pattern of unsavory behavior. Priefer survived a coaching change in which the head coach and the two other coordinators were cut loose. Clearly, the Vikings have weighed the evidence and made their decision.

If the report comes out Thursday afternoon, a pretty hefty percentage of people will likely hear Lee Greenwood sing before they hear the verdict.

God bless, America.


John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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