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San Francisco 49ers’ Chris Culliver Apologizes for Anti-Gay Comments

Chris Culliver #29 of the San Francisco 49ers
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

This isn’t exactly the kind of publicity the 49ers were looking for on the eve of the Super Bowl, especially when your team calls San Francisco home.

Wide receiver Chris Culliver is apologizing for homophobic remarks he made in a recent interview with comedian Artie Lange at the Superdome.

In the interview, Culliver said that he would not welcome a gay teammate in the locker room.

I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that. 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… Nah. Can’t be … in the locker room, nah. You’ve gotta come out 10 years later after that.

Response was quick and negative.

Culliver’s head coach, Jim Harbaugh, told the Associated Press:

I reject what he said. That’s not something that reflects the way the organization feels, the way the rest of the players feel.

Athlete Ally — an organization working for equality in sports for LGBT — Executive Director Hudson Taylor released the following statement:

Chris Culliver’s comments were disrespectful, discriminatory and dangerous, particularly for the young people who look up to him. 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.

The following day, Culliver backtracked on his remarks, releasing the following 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.

Of course, Culliver tried to pin the blame on the man who interviewed him, calling Lange’s questions about Culliver’s sexual plans for the Super Bowl “real disrespectful” and added that his initial responses were “pretty much in a joking manner, it’s nothing about how I feel.”

Of course, not many are buying Culliver’s apology. Sports Illustrated‘s Jim Trotter tweeted:

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