A former NFL player has said he “may have been a little too harsh originally”, in calling for his former coach to be sacked, and deeming him a “bigot”.

Chris Kluwe, a former punter for the Minnesota Vikings, on Thursday published an article on Deadspin, in which he said he was “pretty confident” that his sacking came off the back of his equal marriage support.

He also described in detail occurrences of homophobia from special teams coordinator Mike Priefer, and confrontations between himself and coaches or press officers over his decision to speak out publicly.

“If there’s one thing I hope to achieve from sharing this story, it’s to make sure that Mike Priefer never holds a coaching position again in the NFL, and ideally never coaches at any level,” Kluwe wrote in the article.

Appearing on Fox Sports Live on Tuesday, Kluwe said that instead of ending his career, that he hoped Priefer could make “legitimate change” in his stance on gay rights.

“After thinking about it, after reflecting on it, I don’t think an appropriate punishment is if he never coaches again,” Kluwe said.

“I think it would be better if he got therapy, if he got counseling, and then a year or two from now, come back into the league as a role model, help out with LGBT groups, and show people that this is an important issue.

“What he said is very hurtful, but people can change.”

Priefer remains under contract with the team, and the Vikings have now contracted two lawyers to look into the allegations.

The coach also released a statement denying the claims.

In it he says: “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.”