Photo - Hannah Foslien (Getty Images)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Following the dramatic allegations made earlier Thursday morning by former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, current Vikings players including kicker Blair Walsh, fullback Jerome Felton and punter Jeff Locke have been backing their coach Mike Priefer.
Fullback Jerome Felton took to his verified Twitter account and said, "Coach Mike Preifer has always been professional and one of the best special teams coaches I have been around! In any meeting I have been in, I have never witnessed him say anything close to what's been alleged. That's just my experience!"
Then it was rookie punter Jeff Locke, "In my short time with the Vikings, Coach Priefer has treated me with respect and has helped me develop as a player and person. I have never witnessed any actions or statements by Coach Priefer similar to those described in the recent Deadspin article."
And then, maybe the most telling comments came from second-year kicker Blair Walsh. For one full season Walsh was teammates with Kluwe and was within the walls of the meeting rooms where Kluwe alleges the bigotry took place.
In a statement released by the kicker himself, Walsh not only stood up for his coach, he flat out called Kluwe a liar.
"I have been a member of the Minnesota Vikings for 2 years. I want to start off by saying I have the utmost respect for Rick Spielman, Leslie Frazier and Mike Priefer. All three, are good men.
I have had countless conversations and interactions with Coach Priefer, and I personally can attest to his integrity and character. His professionalism in the workplace is exemplary, and I firmly believe that my teammates would whole-heartedly agree. The allegations made today are reprehensible and totally not compatible with what Mike Priefer stands for.
As we all know, in the NFL you must perform at the highest level and meet the performance expectations of your coaches, management, and ownership. If these expectations, based upon past performance AND future potential for excellence, are not met, your NFL career with that team, is over. I believe this was the case with Chris, and it is unfair to think that his release was anything other than football related.
In my time here at Minnesota, Rick Spielman and Leslie Frazier have exemplified true leadership. Contrary to Chris’ statements, they have promoted a workplace environment that was conducive for success. At no time did I ever feel suppressed or that I could not be myself.
I firmly stand behind Rick Spielman, Leslie Frazier, and Mike Priefer.
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN