“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.”
Whether that statement truly reflects an evolution in Culliver’s thinking, or whether the 49ers forced him to issue it because it was causing a distraction during Super Bowl week, we do not know. The 49ers had previously issued a statement saying they reject Culliver’s bigoted views.
Culliver will meet the media this morning. And because of his homophobic comments, he’ll be one of the players who garners the most attention from a Super Bowl media contingent that is now covering a controversy surrounding the 49ers.