Browns’ acting head coach in playoff game was suspended in 2014 for homophobic comment

Priefer’s stint with the Vikings may be noteworthy for a two-game suspension in 2014, after an out of doors investigation made up our minds that there was once “credibility” to a former participant’s accusation that he as soon as stated, “We must spherical up the entire gays, ship them to an island, after which nuke it till it glows.”

That accusation was once made by way of ex-punter Chris Kluwe in a January 2014 essay he wrote for Deadspin by which he claimed that his advocacy for same-sex marriage almost definitely ended in his free up the former 12 months by way of Minnesota after 8 seasons with the staff. Kluwe wrote that, along with the “nuke” remark, Priefer’s different remarks at the matter integrated: disgust on the considered two males kissing; belittling “any thought of acceptance or tolerance”; and claiming greater than as soon as that the punter would “finally end up burning in hell with the gays.”

Hours after Kluwe’s essay was once revealed, Priefer issued a commentary by which he “vehemently” denied the allegations.

“I wish to be transparent that I don’t tolerate discrimination of any kind and am respectful of all folks. I in my view have homosexual members of the family who I really like and fortify simply as I do any circle of relatives member,” Priefer stated in his commentary. “The main explanation why I entered training was once to have an effect on other people in a favorable manner. As a trainer, I’ve all the time created an accepting atmosphere for my gamers, together with Chris, and feature appeared to fortify them each off and on the sphere.”

The Vikings employed a couple of lawyers to analyze Kluwe’s allegations about Priefer’s feedback and the explanations for the punter’s free up. In a July 2014 record they famous that the staff’s lengthy snapper on the time, Cullen Loeffler, advised them he additionally heard Priefer discuss “striking the entire gays on an island and nuking it.” For the lawyers, that equipped the most important piece of corroboration, even if they wrote that no different witnesses they interviewed recalled listening to any remarks of that nature by way of Priefer.

The record additionally said that the particular groups trainer first of all denied to investigators that he made any irrelevant remarks concerning the LGBTQ neighborhood or marriage equality, and that he “categorically denied” making the “nuke” remark. Then again, when offered with Loeffler’s recollection, Priefer stated he was once “no longer going to disagree with it.”

At that time, consistent with the record, Priefer advised investigators, “It was once a funny story between 3 other people, 3 males.”

In pronouncing a three-game suspension for Priefer, the Vikings stated their group “does no longer settle for, condone or tolerate any form of insensitive or disparaging remarks.” Priefer expressed “be apologetic about” on the time, and he added, “I’m extraordinarily sorry, however I will be able to be told from this example and can paintings on instructing others to create extra tolerance and admire.”

The Vikings additionally famous then that the ban might be diminished to 2 video games if Priefer attended sensitivity coaching, and when he was once reinstated after the primary two weeks of the 2014 season, the staff stated it was once knowledgeable that he were “totally and thoughtfully engaged during the method and effectively finished the [training] program.”

At his introductory information convention with the Browns in February 2019, Priefer addressed his suspension, telling newshounds (by way of, “A scenario passed off in Minnesota the place I made a remark I shouldn’t have made. I apologized for that remark.

“And I discovered so much from it,” he persevered. “What I discovered is that you’ll’t say hurtful issues about other people, length. Regardless of the place you might be or who you might be chatting with.”

Priefer, who was once born in Cleveland, famous at that information convention that he grew up in Northeast Ohio. He went on to wait the U.S. Naval Academy, the place he started his training profession after serving as an officer for 6 years, together with excursions of accountability within the Persian Gulf and within the Mediterranean Sea. In step with his staff bio, he additionally earned a grasp’s stage from the College of Maryland.

After slicing his tooth as a graduate assistant with Military, Priefer’s first training jobs had been on the school stage, together with a temporary stint at Virginia Army Institute, sooner than he was once employed in 2002 by way of the Jacksonville Jaguars to help with their particular groups. He held the similar function with the New York Giants the next 3 years, then oversaw particular groups for the Kansas Town Chiefs and Denver Broncos.

Now Priefer has been tasked with main the Browns to a victory at the street of their first postseason look in 18 years. The staff hasn’t received a playoff recreation since 1995, when then-head trainer Invoice Belichick defeated Invoice Parcells and the New England Patriots.

Requested on Twitter on Tuesday for his ideas on Priefer’s surprising project, Kluwe stated, “I’m certain he’s going to proceed the fantastic custom of Cleveland’s postseason good fortune and I want him the most efficient whilst doing so.”

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