Special teams coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings Mike Priefer vehemently denied allegations by the team's ex-punter and gay rights advocate Chris Kluwe that he was a homophobic bigot who told him that he would "wind up burning in hell" for supporting homosexuals.
In an explosive and scathing article for Deadspin Thursday, Kluwe claims he was fired from the team for his gay activism and alleges that Priefer attacked him repeatedly for his stance on homosexuality.
"Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible," he claimed in the article.
He also noted that Priefer once stated in front of several teammates: "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."
In a statement published in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Thursday, Priefer denied the allegations.
"I vehemently deny today's allegations made by Chris Kluwe. I want to be clear that I do not tolerate discrimination of any type and am respectful of all individuals. I personally have gay family members who I love and support just as I do any family member," he said.
"The comments today have not only attacked my character and insulted my professionalism, but they have also impacted my family. While my career focus is to be a great professional football coach, my number one priority has always been to be a protective husband and father to my wife and children," he added.
Kluwe's article has since racked up more than 3 million page views as of Friday as well as a number of responses including a number of his former teammates who contradict his allegations.
"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," noted Kluwe's former Vikings teammate, Kicker Blair Walsh, in BuzzFeed.