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Chris Culliver apologizes for anti-gay comments


San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver has issued an apology after saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay teammate.

“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.

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65 Responses to “Chris Culliver apologizes for anti-gay comments”
  1. purplereign52 says: Jan 31, 2013 6:34 AM

    who cares……i would be weirded out if i had to take a showers w a gay guy…..i would also be weirded out if i had to take showers w an ugly girl….

  2. ravenmuscle says: Jan 31, 2013 6:37 AM

    It was especially stupid of Culliver to make these comments given the large gay population that lives in San Francisco.

  3. cubancigar10 says: Jan 31, 2013 6:37 AM

    Classic example of the mouth being 5 miles ahead of the brain.

  4. hardballtalkusername says: Jan 31, 2013 6:43 AM

    Wow, he must have taken an intensive English course to improve his sentence structure in such a short period of time.

  5. whatsafairway says: Jan 31, 2013 6:47 AM

    Culliver: If I had only stuck with deer antler drugs instead of worrying about dropping the soap in the shower, I’d be so far ahead now…

  6. jtchernak says: Jan 31, 2013 6:48 AM

    He is one of my favorite players now for speaking the truth and not being afraid.(You better post this comment)

  7. ilovefoolsball says: Jan 31, 2013 6:53 AM

    Somehow I don’t believe that Culliver would write that using such proper grammar.

  8. moseszd says: Jan 31, 2013 6:58 AM

    What is said, can’t be unsaid.

  9. randygnyc says: Jan 31, 2013 7:04 AM

    “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,”

    Holy cow. Pretzel logic. Poor guy, he’s been reeducated by the PC police.

  10. makeshersquirt says: Jan 31, 2013 7:15 AM

    I’m so sick of all of these athletes that say something that happens to affend some people and a couple of days later they recant and apologize.

    There should be no apologizing due to their freedom of speech.

    I’m not saying that I like or agree with most of the things they say but I do agree that it’s their right.

    Reporters know what they’re doing…certain athletes will give sound bites and enable the reporter to finish by their deadline. Then the player’s or team’s PR person will take said athlete aside and do spin control.

    I miss players like Charles Barkley who would say his piece then not apologize for having an opinion!

  11. jalbs says: Jan 31, 2013 7:20 AM

    It should actually say “49ers PR staff apologizes for Chris Culliver”. Does anyone really think he changed his views on this topic?

  12. pt8106 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:23 AM

    I really don’t understand why he should have to apologize for the way he feels and his beliefs. There are a lot of people that agree that an “alternative” lifestyle is just plain wrong and would prefer to be around it as little as possible. If the guy from the Ravens can use the Super Bowl to try to force the pro-gay agenda down everyones throats then I fail to see why people who disagree shouldn’t be allowed to speak their minds without being made to feel they should have to apologize for it.

  13. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:26 AM

    that was a forehead thing to say when going up against players that fight for gay rights. it was bulletin board material and looked liked it could have put the 49ers at risk for discrimination

  14. fanofevilempire says: Jan 31, 2013 7:28 AM

    who saw that coming?

    let’s be real here, does anyone really believe that a gay player will ” come out ” in the NFL, in a locker room. come on .american sport is not ready for that. How about Tebow being somewhat of a weird guy because his belief is not to have pre marital sex.

  15. jets12 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:30 AM

    Chris Culliver is an idiot. Why anyone feels the need to spew these kind of comments is beyond me. Small fish in a big pond looking for attention. Hurtful and hate filled comments coming from anyone is disgraceful.

  16. sandraomega1 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:31 AM

    Shame individuals “speak their mind” then think a “I am sorry did not mean ” when they get some flack. Small narrow minded individuals made stupid comments.

  17. lflib69 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:32 AM

    Wow…they are not in his heart but in his head? So he said it out of peer pressure? I don’t get that bogus explanation..give him credit for creativity I guess.

  18. mungman69 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:38 AM

    You ask questions, you get answers.

  19. omeezyx says: Jan 31, 2013 7:46 AM

    He shouldn’t have to apologize. What ever happened to freedom of speech??

  20. gpry says: Jan 31, 2013 7:49 AM

    Dude, you play in the wrong town to be making those comments…. Just sayin’ not hatin’

  21. dhnf says: Jan 31, 2013 7:54 AM

    No he shouldn’t have said what he said but this is being blown WAY out of proportion. Listen to the whole line of questioning by the idiot interviewer. He asks him how many white girls he’s going to bang this week. Then asks him if he’s going to hook up with some guys?

    Ridiculous baiting questions. Culliver should have been smarter and not said anything but this whole thing is pretty ridiculous starting with the awful questions and ending with the complete overreaction by the media.

  22. dcee101 says: Jan 31, 2013 7:55 AM

    I’m all for gay rights and gay marriage, but if a man has an opinion, shouldn’t it be part of the public discourse on the issue? When did it become impossible to have an opinion about something that went against the norm? No wonder critical thinking in this country has vanished. Now everything gets sugar coated and made for Oprah public apologies replace the ongoing debate.

  23. delshofner says: Jan 31, 2013 8:02 AM

    “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel.”

    So … his ‘brain’ was hacked, but his heart’s still good.

    Got it.

  24. bigalhebdman says: Jan 31, 2013 8:05 AM

    Remember people! They’re the San Francisco 49ers

  25. willjasper says: Jan 31, 2013 8:06 AM

    So which member of the 49ers P.R. staff wrote the apology?

  26. karla36 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:07 AM

    How narcissitic. Your apology is not accepted!!

  27. lionbloodwinning says: Jan 31, 2013 8:09 AM

    not so sure what’s strange about a man not feeling comfortable around another man that may or may not want to have sexual relations with hi.

  28. someidiotfromouthereintheprojects says: Jan 31, 2013 8:09 AM

    that guy’s a real fish outta water. very little gay pride for a san franciscan. i love it. “thoughts in my head that weren’t how i feel.”

  29. firestarter0728 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:15 AM


    “My team threatened me with a heavy fine if I didn’t release a prepared statement written by a lawyer, apologizing for publicly saying what I really feel.”

  30. kevin7777777 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:19 AM

    Obviously the 49ers/league, had him issue an apology. This is standard practice in the US now. The bigger issue is that no one is allowed to voice their own opinion. Freedom of speech is dying. Whether your opinion/belief is right or wrong you’d better not voice it, or you will have to issue an apology.

  31. classyjacklambert says: Jan 31, 2013 8:20 AM

    If he was doing this just to get his name out…it was genius.

  32. thejohnsmith1122 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:20 AM

    There is no way to spin this a different way. It was plain and simple. This must be the most nonsense apology ever made.

    It’s a reflection of thoughts in his head but it’s not how he feels? Aren’t those one and the same?

    There’s probably some truth to it but man up and accept what you said.

  33. packergalmke says: Jan 31, 2013 8:23 AM

    Geez, he only plays for a a team in what most people consider the gayest city in America. How could his statement possibly upset folks?

  34. kheebner says: Jan 31, 2013 8:32 AM

    He’s probably secretly gay

  35. lrt79 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:34 AM

    The least the team could have done is make him use his own words. This statement was eloquent and well-stated, and judging from the trashy way he spoke in the original interview, were clearly written for him.

    But hey, it’s the Super Bowl! Who cares about hate and bigotry when there is money to be made.

  36. keepingitrealdumb says: Jan 31, 2013 8:39 AM

    the guy is a bigot .. and a dumbass. hopefully he meant what he said in his apology and grows and learns and leaves his bigotry in his past.

    until then .. the 49ers org should assign a PR guy to tag along with him for the rest of these media days who will advise him on how to answer each and every question so it won’t distract the team from the task at hand

  37. godofwine330 says: Jan 31, 2013 8:46 AM

    I don’t know why people apologize for it. It would make them uncomfortable to have some guy who they KNEW was gay possibly staring at their junk in the shower. Really, in sports, the gay debate probably has more to do with that than the actual teammate lining up next to you on the field. I would not apologize for how I truly felt, and it that gay people are so offended by every little thing nowadays.

    Would a woman want a strange man in the shower with them, possibly staring at them? No. Same deal. I would not mind a gay person on my team, but I would not want him in the shower with me or in the lockerroom when I am naked.

  38. SparkyGump says: Jan 31, 2013 8:46 AM

    Who cares what a player’s sexuality is? As long as they play at high level on the field and stay out of trouble off of it, I sure don’t. I mean really; if you had a player who helped your team win a Superbowl would you care if he was gay?

  39. stevietimmy says: Jan 31, 2013 8:57 AM

    Who cares what he thinks/believes… no one really cares. I collect a paycheck from my employer and they in turn expect me to earn that money through my work. They also have expectations that I will not do certain things while I am on company time (and some other things even when I am not).

    I could even understand if this happened at Media Day with a bunch of mics shoved in his face and questions being fired at him in quick succession. But no, he goes on a radio show while representing an organization and starts babbling about the thoughts in his head. Bet’cha he was a lonely guy on Media Day, so this was his “Look at me! Look at me!” moment.

    So no, this isn’t about “freedom of speech” or whatever. If this second-string CB wants to void his contract with the Niners and go pump gas, change tires (no offense to any of you who pump gas or change tires) or even start his own business then he can spout all he wants about the thoughts in his head without fear of repercussions. There, you now have your freedom of speech. Just don’t do it on the company’s time that is paying you hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

  40. tennis22drew says: Jan 31, 2013 8:59 AM

    I’m guessing the Artie Lange environment had something to do with this

  41. dretwann says: Jan 31, 2013 9:05 AM

    It is a shame he apologized for sharing his opinion with someone who asked for it. I guess, unless you are going to remain PC, you do not have the freedom to speak. The Constitution no longer matters in this country. Before anyone says he wasn’t made to apologize, I can pretty much guarantee a threat from his employers was waiting if he did not.

  42. jgreeds says: Jan 31, 2013 9:06 AM

    Have you seen this guy’s tweets?

    There is no way he put that statement together.

  43. azarkhan says: Jan 31, 2013 9:07 AM

    He has a right to his opinion and he has a right to not like gays. He should not have apologized.

  44. fivetwopickup says: Jan 31, 2013 9:08 AM

    Cleary Chris Culliver has never seen the Grant Hill PSA.

  45. detruthhurts says: Jan 31, 2013 9:13 AM

    He shouldn’t apologize! Who cares what the f—-ts think! Yall aint”special”!

  46. rmfields says: Jan 31, 2013 9:13 AM

    dretwann, he has the freedom to speak. As far as I know, he isn’t being fined or arrested. But along with freedom of speech, one also has to deal with the consequences, especially if you are in the spotlight and representing your organization. Imagine if you (assuming you work) publicly made those statements. Your employer would probably have a word with you. Heck, you might even be fired for it.

    Don’t give me that “the Constitution no longer matters in this country”. Just because you’re ALLOWED to say anything you want doesn’t mean you won’t get any flak or the things you say.

  47. joe2jerry says: Jan 31, 2013 9:17 AM

    I agree dretwann, names like bigot, hate monger, and others only show persecution from the other side. You can offend anyone these days by stating your opinion. The media asks that very question in hopes he will not walk the PC line and they can write no less than 20 stories in two days. Manufacture the scoop…

  48. omniusprime says: Jan 31, 2013 9:20 AM

    Culliver doesn’t seem to understand which city his team plays in. He says he just said what thoughts were in his head but doesn’t feel that way about gays? Obviously he doesn’t have much in the way of thoughts in his head and thinking is obviously not his strong suit, definitely his weakest link.

    Yep and sure enough the evangelical christian lunatic fringe haters have to come here to spew their religious hatred. Gay is here to stay so best get used to it little whining neanderthals.

    Go 49’ers!!!

  49. patriotinvasion says: Jan 31, 2013 9:20 AM

    Oh the horror! An American said something that other people don’t agree with and may be, gasp, offended! Quick, find a PR rep to write some phony statement to make things better. Please.

  50. patriotinvasion says: Jan 31, 2013 9:23 AM

    SparkyGump says: Jan 31, 2013 8:46 AM

    Who cares what a player’s sexuality is? As long as they play at high level on the field and stay out of trouble off of it, I sure don’t. I mean really; if you had a player who helped your team win a Superbowl would you care if he was gay?

    I think the locker room issue is the problem. For the same reason women don’t want to share a locker room with men who are sexually attracted to them, the same goes for men when showering amongst others. Is what it is.

  51. keepingitrealdumb says: Jan 31, 2013 9:24 AM

    all you people talking about “free-speech” and “his opinion” and
    “Constitution this and Amendment that” and “pc world” are focusing on the wrong thing. you are looking at the wrong thing!

    he is forced to apologize not cause he doesn’t have the rights .. he is forced to apologize because his opinion has the potential to reduce revenue for the team and the league because it might alienate some communities.

    the NFL didn’t get so large and profitable by alienating segments of the population .. they want EVERYONE buying their product .. so opinions like culliver’s jeopardize this maximizing of revenues.

    THAT is why he is forced to apologize .. not because he doesn’t have the right .. but because it will cost his bosses money!

    get it?!?! so stop focusing on the Constitution and PC and Amendments and focus on what is real in this world

  52. thejohnsmith1122 says: Jan 31, 2013 9:32 AM

    No offense to athletes out there but besides being actually gay, the next gayest thing is to walk around the showers naked. To be honest, if players really cared about who’s staring at their private parts, don’t you think showers would have curtains or seperators? Some might, but most “public” showers I’ve seen don’t. This is a multi-billion dollar industry, if you feel wierd walking around naked then use your pocket change for actual shower stalls.

    Maybe Culliver is just insecure because he likes being checked out by another guy and do the same back.

  53. scubagolfjim says: Jan 31, 2013 9:38 AM

    It’d be nice if those of you crying about Free Speech actually knew what you were talking about. The GOV’T can’t take away your Free Speech. That’s all that is guaranteed in the First Amendment. And even that is with exceptions. Libel, slander, etc.

    When you make your employer look like a fool, that employer can take away your Free Speech within his organization. Also, it’s the Free Speech of others to tell you when you’re a fool for saying what you said. They didn’t say you couldn’t say it. They said you were stupid for saying it. Big difference.

  54. fricktacular says: Jan 31, 2013 9:45 AM

    Let the man have a damn opinion.

  55. rugerman says: Jan 31, 2013 9:46 AM

    He was right the first time and just expressing what everyone who plays in the NFL feels inwardly. So much for the First Amendment. Of course, SF is the queer capital of the U.S. so it was inevitable the team would throw him under the bus.

  56. joe2jerry says: Jan 31, 2013 10:15 AM

    Which side is the one who always uses the word hate first?

    Which side is the quickest to attack someone’s faith?

    Which side claims to be the most tolerant?

    Don’t ask a player to give his real thoughts and secretly expect your thoughts to come out of his mouth.

  57. zerohandicapper says: Jan 31, 2013 10:20 AM

    What a coward to apologize. Its so sad how liberal media has become mainstream.

  58. frk49rs says: Jan 31, 2013 10:31 AM

    this is not an issue of free speech. This is not an issue of his rights being violated. this is an issue of saying something asinine.
    I’m a Forty Niner fan, have been since Joe Montana, but his comments were absolutely thoughtless.
    how many people here talking about his freedom of speech would be saying that if he said after I retire I’m going to open a McDonalds because kids sexually excite me.
    do you think you’d be supporting him then no because your opinion doesn’t even remotey coincide with his.
    do you think that restaurant would do very well when the parents found out about it?
    the organization cannot legally tell him that he cannot say that, what they can say I’m not going to support your views or give you money to speak to your hate, we can suspend you and touch you for conduct detrimental to the team.

  59. bosfaninva says: Jan 31, 2013 10:33 AM

    Everyone commenter using the term “freedom of speech” has no idea what it means.

  60. kate773 says: Jan 31, 2013 10:38 AM

    I really wish people would understand what the First Amendment is before saying they don’t have it anymore. Culliver’s First Amendment rights were in no way violated.

  61. joe2jerry says: Jan 31, 2013 11:01 AM

    Watching his press conference this morning is so sad.

  62. grudenthediva says: Jan 31, 2013 11:08 AM

    Reality has a liberal bias. Deal with it.

    You can’t whine about “freedom of speech!” (thus signifying you know jack about the actual right) and then go nuts when/if the guy’s PRIVATE employer dumps him. He’s got to toe the company line, which likely includes something about, oh I don’t know, not coming off as some kind of bigoted moron in SAN FRANCISCO.

    But no, it’s a problem because supposedly the constitutional and sociological experts here with names like makehersquirt (classy) believe a gay player would automatically feel the irresistible urge to look at their respective inchworms in the shower. Oh no, liberal tolerance agenda barbs…coming from the same people whose party platform makes it mandatory to ostracize and demean women, gays, latinos, blacks, and pretty much anyone who isn’t a crusty old white male. Yeah, you keep that up…you’re doing GREAT!

  63. bat42boy says: Jan 31, 2013 12:47 PM

    Why does he have to apologize for something he believes is right?

  64. revskip says: Jan 31, 2013 1:55 PM

    All of the people who are waving the freedom of speech flag should remember that the same arguments made about gays are the hateful arguments made against blacks in the last century. Many people in the NFL did not want to see them in the locker room either (see Washington Redskins).

    Hate speech is not free speech and should not be protected under the 1st amendment.

  65. titansrst says: Jan 31, 2013 2:54 PM

    Why should he be apologizing if this is what he felt? I totally disagree with his prior comments, but it does not make what I feel any more or less legitimate or correct than what he believes. We need to explore, perhaps, why people believe as they do, but let’s stop the political correctness garbage and get down to real feelings. Then let’s see what’s behind those feelings to see if anything can get us to reach a peaceful consensus. And if not, let’s stop looking for trouble by allowing the media to stir up hornets’ nests.

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