San Francisco 49ers Cornerback Chris Culliver Apologizes after Anti-Gay Statements

The build up to the Super Bowl got derailed slightly after the athlete said he'd have trouble sharing a locker room with a gay man.

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Mark Humphrey / AP

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver talks with teammates during a media availability Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, in New Orleans.

The build up to a Super Bowl is typically dominated by players and coaches getting excited about one of the biggest days in the sporting calendar, as the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens prepare to face off in New Orleans’ storied Superdome. But the NFL may not best pleased by some of the main headlines out of the Big Easy this week — particularly statements by 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, who told an interviewer this week that gay players wouldn’t be welcome on his team.

“I don’t do the gay guys man,” said Culliver. “I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah … can’t be … in the locker room man. Nah.”

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Team management immediately distanced themselves from Culliver’s controversial comments, releasing a statement Wednesday. “The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris,” the statement read. “There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community.”

There was an unfortunate irony in Culliver’s outburst, considering that the team he plays for became the first NFL team to formally support the It Gets Better Project, the anti-bullying campaign that creates support networks for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teenagers. Team members appeared in one of the group’s signature videos, which has received more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

For his part, Culliver issued his own statement of apology via the team office late Wednesday:

“The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel. 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.”

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Culliver’s interview was with radio host Artie Lange during Tuesday’s Media Day, but it gained traction after being picked up by Yahoo Sports. Culliver’s teammate, tight end Delanie Walker, had a different take on the subject when discussing the news that a former 49er, offensive tackle Kwame Harris, had been charged with assaulting his ex-boyfriend (thus revealing his sexuality). “I don’t think so, not at all,” he said when asked if Harris would have been treated differently had he come out earlier. “That’s him. If that’s what he’s into, that’s what he’s into. I can’t judge a person for how he feels.”

15 comments
dd4ww
dd4ww

Why in the HELL was a reporter asking him about GAYS for,  when he should be talking about FOOTBALL?  Just a set up (by gays in my opinion) to spread an agenda...SAD.  And he went right in and took their bait.  He should have said I'm here to talk about FOOTBALL not GAYS -  NEXT question.

Bill_4
Bill_4

So is it just me? He looks like Little Richard.  Just sayin'

gftdnblk
gftdnblk

@jalangaya Dude, you're a real idiot. Say that comment again, but this time in your drunk, redneck voice, and you'll see how ridiculous you really are.

gftdnblk
gftdnblk

They say, people who talk about how much they hate gay people are really hiding their real sexual feelings

BrianApple
BrianApple like.author.displayName 1 Like

Culliver looks like Little Richard.

atb223
atb223

@BrianApple, thanks man I needed that laugh.

sdeet1300
sdeet1300

Word is Culliver will be released by SF for his comments after the Super Bowl. What a loss for a stupid comment

MikaelaVanMoorleghem
MikaelaVanMoorleghem like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

His apology doesn't even make sense. "They were thoughts in my head, but not how I feel."What? I am sure he feels backed into a corner with his reputation on the line and that is why he wrote this ridridiculous apology. He's African American. Can he not recall a time when African American's were hated because their skin is a shade darker? How can he discriminate against a person who only wants to be able to love who they want to love? #singlewhitestraightfemale

atb223
atb223

@MikaelaVanMoorleghem I agree with you fully. As an African American it upsets me to see any one of my race to be hateful towards anyone for being different. No matter what race you are, in the end it's how you were raised that plays a big part in how you treat others.

ArthurBlake
ArthurBlake

@MikaelaVanMoorleghem He was first asked 'how many white women are you going to be with this week?' He was put off guard. we have all joked around about colorful topics. We are never on a stage like he is, and he made a mistake.

jalangaya
jalangaya

Why apologize for being a stand-up guy? It's time for real men to confront gay bullies & their liberal media enablers.

PeterKafin
PeterKafin like.author.displayName 1 Like

@jalangaya "stand up guys" don't have severe insecurities about their own sexuality.  Surely, jalangaya you realize that the only reason to have a problem with someone else being gay is that you feel somehow threatened by their gayness.  Otherwise, someone's gender preference has has no bearing on the workplace.  The 49'er organization, and the NFL as a whole, is this man's employer, not his neighborhood playclub.  "stand-up guys" understand that.

As for "gay bullies", unless someone is bullying him to engage in sexual acts with men, you're shooting at phantoms.