Mankato, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Minnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer spoke publicly for the first time on Thursday afternoon since being suspended three games by the team for making homophobic remarks to former punter Chris Kluwe, and he took the moment to apologize.
"With my comment, I failed. I didn't just go below the bar. I went way below the bar," Priefer said. "I made a mistake. I was wrong. I brought a lot of undue attention on the Minnesota Vikings organization. I brought an unwanted distraction, and I apologize."
Kluwe made his initial allegations this past January in a Deadspin piece, saying Priefer on at least three separate occasions made anti-gay remarks toward him while he was a member of Minnesota's special teams unit.
Priefer initially denied the claim but later admitted to saying something regarding "putting all the gays on an island and nuking it." Vikings long snapper Cullen Loeffler later affirmed Kluwe's allegation, but only in that one instance.
A summarized report of a six-month long independent investigation was released by the team last week, saying evidence did not support Kluwe's other claims in the Deadspin piece.
Priefer will miss the first three games of the 2014 regular season and will not be allowed any contact with the team during his suspension, with both head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman standing behind the decision to discipline rather than fire the special teams coach.
Kluwe had planned to file a $10 million lawsuit agains the Vikings this week for defamation of character and wrongful termination, but his lawyer said Wednesday his client will wait until current settlement talks conclude.