Super Bowl XLVII: Chris Culliver apologizes for anti-gay remarks

January 31, 2013

Chris Culliver apologized for remarks about the possibility of having a gay teammate. (Mark Humphrey / AP)

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized again Thursday morning for anti-gay remarks he made in Tuesday’s media day session and said he would accept a gay teammate.

“Everyone is treated equally in our locker room,” Culliver said.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said he had spoken with Culliver, but that the issue isn’t a team matter. “There’s not malice in his heart,” Harbaugh said this morning. “He’s not an ugly person. He’s not a discriminatory person. I really believe that this is something that he’ll learn and grow from.”

Culliver’s teammate, Randy Moss, said of the issue: “We’re all human. It’s not right to judge a person based on their sexual preference.”

“The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” Culliver said Wednesday night 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, the first NFL team to film an anti-bullying video in support of LGBT people and Itgetsbetter.org, did not say whether Culliver would face disciplinary action and his public relations representative said he would speak about the matter today.

“Chris is very apologetic for any harm caused to anyone,” Theodore Palmer said in an interview with the Associated Press. “His intent was not that at all. He is one who celebrates the differences of others. All of this was just a big mistake. It was interpreted wrong.”

The topic was raised by comedian and radio personality Artie Lange because former 49ers offensive lineman Kwame Harris has been charged with felony domestic violence and assault involving a former boyfriend. Lange asked if Culliver had ever been approached by a gay player.

“I don’t do the gay guys man,” Culliver told Artie Lange (via Yahoo Sports). “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.”

Perhaps Culliver should spend a few minutes with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who vocally supported the successful campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland last fall. “I hear it all the time…not just in the locker room,” Ayanbadejo said today, estimating that probably half of all players felt the same as Culliver. “I’m not surprised.”

Follow @CindyBoren on Twitter and on Facebook.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · January 31, 2013