San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver made waves with a recent comment on his stance against having a gay teammate. Here are the details of his comments.
“I don’t do the gay guys, man. 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.”
Culliver says he prefers his teammates to reveal their homosexuality 10 years after retirement. This goes against the stance the team has taken for their anti-bullying campaign on homosexuals.
This comes as a shocker knowing the backlash that Garrison Hearst got when he made negative comments about having gay teammates. And with the team being from San Francisco, this comes not only as bad timing, but a poor decision to say something that offends an important part of the community.
Here’s the team statement on Culliver’s comments:
“The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris. There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community.”
It’s a touchy subject because homosexuality is still trying to gain majority acceptance in society. Even though we are starting to allow marriages, there are still a lot of people who are against it. And using the Super Bowl as a stage to say something that could offend people really isn’t a very smart move.
The problem I have about this is that even if a player has certain thoughts about a touchy subject like having a gay teammate, why bring it up? What’s the point of making it public and upstaging the football aspect of the Super Bowl?
I understand that media day gives reporters the chance to ask any kind of question from a variety of topics, but these are one of the topics that I know that I would avoid. Even though I know I might say something that won’t be offensive, I wouldn’t want to touch on a topic unless I am ready to handle the consequences.
Culliver probably feels real strong about his stance and I am not one to tell him that he cannot have his own opinion. But he better be ready to handle all the feedback he’s going to get from this. Especially in this tough guy NFL image that we’re all led to believe everyone is supposed to have, the times have changed and such mentality isn’t going to stick very long.
Unless he’s going to make a huge stance and do more than just talk about his cause than just this one time, these are the kind of things that he needs to be careful on. He can’t afford to be a distraction to the team and say or do things that can hurt the community he plays for.
5:09PM PT: Culliver releases a statement:
“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.”