MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Vikings suspend coach for remarks
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Vikings have suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer three regular season games without pay for making a homophobic comment to former punter Chris Kluwe.
The results of a nearly six-month independent investigation started by the team over claims Kluwe made in an online article were released by the Vikings on Friday. According to a 29-page memo, the investigation turned up evidence Priefer made a homophobic statement to Kluwe, but not the many the former punter alleged in his first-person account earlier this year. The memo says the evidence doesn't support Kluwe's claim that he was released by the Vikings in May 2013 because of his vocal support of marriage equality and gay rights. Priefer's suspension can be reduced to two games if he attends individualized anti-harassment, diversity and sexual-orientation sensitivity training. The Vikings, who have required all employees to attend sensitivity training the past several years, said they were donating $100,000 to LGBT charities.
Evan Longoria hit a three-run double, Ben Zobrist belted a two-run homer and the Tampa Bay Rays started the second half of the season with a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins to open a three- game series at Target Field. Alex Cobb (5-6) pitched 5 2/3 innings to earn the win, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks in Tampa Bay's third straight victory. James Loney stroked a game-high three hits for the Rays, who have won nine of their last 10 road games Kyle Gibson (8-8) took the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. Trevor Plouffe hit a two-run homer for the otherwise punchless Twins, who started a 10-game homestand after hosting the All-Star Game this week.