Chris Culliver: Gay players 'gotta get outta here'

Wednesday January 30th, 2013

Chris Culliver's comments come at a time when other NFL players like Brendon Ayanbadejo are speaking out about gay rights. (Jerome Davis/Icon SMI) Chris Culliver's comments come at a time when other NFL players like Brendon Ayanbadejo are speaking out about gay rights. (Jerome Davis/Icon SMI)

Super Bowl Media Day tends to be a bit of a light-hearted, sometimes ridiculous affair. Unfortunately, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver took things in the complete opposite direction Tuesday, during an interview with radio host Artie Lange.

Lange asked Culliver if he has ever been approached by "gay guys" or if any members of the 49ers were homosexual.

Culliver's response: "I don't do the gay guys man, I don't do that. Nah, we 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."

Lange followed up that answer up by asking, "So, they'd have to keep it a secret?"

"Yeah," Culliver said. "Come out 10 years later after that."

You can find the audio of the Lange-Culliver exchange at the bottom of this post, via Yahoo! Sports, but suffice it to say that Culliver's comments could land him in some hot water -- at least with the general public, if not the league. It should be noted that San Francisco, where Culliver plays, has the highest percentage of gay people among its populace, at 15.4 percent.

Before the start of the 2012 season, the 49ers joined the anti-bullying campaign "It Gets Better." Donte Whitner, Isaac Sopoaga, Ricky Jean Francois and Ahmad Brooks appeared in a video for that campaign.

"The San Francisco 49ers are proud to join, to let all LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) teens know that it gets better," Whitner said during the video, which you can view here. "On behalf of the entire 49ers organization, we are on your side, and we promise it gets better."

The 49ers issued a statement Wednesday condemning 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."

Culliver later sent out a statement of his own, apologizing for his original comments:

"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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