49ers CB Culliver sorry for anti-gay comments
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized
Wednesday night for anti-gay remarks he made during a Super Bowl
media day interview a day earlier.
”The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of
thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” he said in a
statement released by the team. ”It has taken me seeing them in
print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those
discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I
apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to
learn and grow from this experience.”
The 49ers said earlier Wednesday they had addressed the
comments, but didn’t elaborate on whether the second-year player
would face disciplinary action or a fine.
During an interview Tuesday at the Superdome, Culliver responded
to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t
welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers
didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players
”The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made
yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris,” the team
said. ”There is no place for discrimination within our
organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support
the LGBT community.”
Culliver planned to formally address his remarks during a news
conference during the 49ers’ media availability Thursday morning,
according to his personal public relations representative, Theodore
The interview Tuesday began with Lange asking Culliver about his
sexual plans with women during Super Bowl week. Lange followed up
with a question about whether Culliver would consider pursuing a
”I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that,” Culliver said
during the 1-minute taped interview. ”Ain’t got no gay people on
the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with
that sweet stuff.”
Lange asked Culliver to reiterate his thoughts, to which the
player said, ”It’s true.” He added he wouldn’t welcome a gay
teammate – no matter how talented.
”Nah. Can’t be … in the locker room, nah,” he said. ”You’ve
gotta come out 10 years later after that.”
The 24-year-old Culliver, a third-round draft pick in 2011 out
of South Carolina, made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a
forced fumble this season while starting six games for the NFC
champion Niners (13-4-1).
He had his first career postseason interception in San
Francisco’s 28-24 win at Atlanta for the NFC title.
The 49ers participate in the NFL’s ”It Gets Better”
anti-bullying campaign. The city of San Francisco and progressive,
open-minded Bay Area are home to a large gay community.
Three organizations working for LGBT inclusion in sports –
Athlete Ally, You Can Play, and GLAAD – reacted to Culliver’s
remarks and later acknowledged his apology.
”Chris Culliver’s comments were disrespectful, discriminatory
and dangerous, particularly for the young people who look up to
him,” said Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor. ”His
words underscore the importance of the athlete ally movement and
the key role that professional athletes play in shaping an athletic
climate that affirms and includes gay and lesbian players.
Culliver’s current views are as marginal as they are misguided.
We’re seeing more and more NFL players take a stand against
homophobia in sports through our advocacy and we know that support
at this level is only going to grow. It is becoming clear that
discrimination is on the fringe and has absolutely no place in
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