Chris Kluwe, a former punter in the National Football League, recently announced his intentions to sue his former team, the Minnesota Vikings, for a variety of claims arising out of his vocal support of LGBT issues. He has claimed publicly that the team cut him as a result of his stance on equality. One of the claims he intends to file is tortious interference with contractual relations.
Tortious interference with a contract requires, among other things, the intentional procurement of a breach of contract without any justification. In Ohio, such lack of justification is commonly shown by examining the nature of the tortfeasor’s conduct, his motive, the interests of the plaintiff, the interests sought to be advanced by the tortfeasor, the social interests involved in protecting the freedom of the plaintiff, and the proximity between the tortious conduct and the interest at hand.
Whether or not Kluwe can succeed with his claim can only be determined after the lawsuit works its way through the court system. However, if successful, Kluwe’s actions could set a precedent for other business contexts.