San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Wednesday
night for anti-gay remarks he made during a Super Bowl media day
interview a day earlier.
"The derogatory comments I made
yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how
I feel," he said 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 said earlier Wednesday
they had addressed the comments, but didn't elaborate on whether the
second-year player would face disciplinary action or a fine.
an interview Tuesday at the Superdome, Culliver responded to questions
from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn't welcome a gay player in
the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn't have any homosexual
players and, if they did, those players should leave.
San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and
have addressed the matter with Chris," the team said. "There is no place
for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and
always will proudly support the LGBT community."
Culliver planned to formally address his remarks during
a news conference during the 49ers' media availability Thursday
morning, according to his personal public relations representative,
The interview Tuesday began with Lange
asking Culliver about his sexual plans with women during Super Bowl
week. Lange followed up with a question about whether Culliver would
consider pursuing a gay man.
"I don't do the gay guys,
man. I don't do that," Culliver said during the 1-minute taped
interview. "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."
Lange asked Culliver to reiterate his thoughts, to which the player
said, "It's true." He added he wouldn't welcome a gay teammate - no
matter how talented.
"Nah. Can't be ... in the locker room, nah," he said. "You've gotta come out 10 years later after that."
24-year-old Culliver, a third-round draft pick in 2011 out of South
Carolina, made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble
this season while starting six games for the NFC champion Niners
He had his first career postseason interception in San Francisco's 28-24 win at Atlanta for the NFC title.
49ers participate in the NFL's "It Gets Better" anti-bullying campaign.
The city of San Francisco and progressive, open-minded Bay Area are
home to a large gay community.
working for LGBT inclusion in sports - Athlete Ally, You Can Play, and
GLAAD - reacted to Culliver's remarks and later acknowledged his
"Chris Culliver's comments were disrespectful,
discriminatory and dangerous, particularly for the young people who look
up to him," said Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor. "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. Culliver's current
views are as marginal as they are misguided. We're seeing more and more
NFL players take a stand against homophobia in sports through our
advocacy and we know that support at this level is only going to grow.
It is becoming clear that discrimination is on the fringe and has
absolutely no place in sports."