Seahawks punter says Chris Culliver should be suspended


Comedian and radio show Artie Lange went from player to player at media day, as we understand it, asking outlandish questions until someone game him an outlandish answer.

That someone was 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, who expressed strong opinions against the possibility of a gay teammate, creating a major distraction for his team.

But the obvious apologies and retractions shouldn’t be the end of it, in the opinion of Seahawks punter Jon Ryan.  Ryan believes that Culliver should be suspended.

“If Chris Culliver isn’t suspended by Goodell then I am absolutely embarrassed to be part of a league that accepts this type of behavior,” Ryan said on Twitter.

A suspension arguably could be imposed under the personal-conduct policy.  The NFLPA likely would oppose any such sanction, arguing that players have free-speech rights, including the right to say stupid or unpopular things.

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90 responses to “Seahawks punter says Chris Culliver should be suspended

  1. Culliver was dumb to make those ignorant comments, but I think Goodell has enough to worry about with him being in New Orleans and whatnot. A hefty fine will suffice though.

  2. “Free Speech” is a right by the constitution to keep you from being muted and for you to individually speak freely. That said, he is an employee of the 49ers and NFL, a private business, that has every right discipline him for improper conduct.

  3. But doping is ok. I hope you shank your next potential game winner you self righteous geek.

    You should be embarrassed to play in the NFL. You’re a kicker. Sit down already and stop trying to insert your irrelevant self into this pointless story.

  4. So tired of the ‘free speech’ argument. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences of what you say.

    Still if Ryan is looking for the league to suspend Culliver over this he probably shouldn’t hold his breath.

  5. Seems like Freedom of Speech is only granted if people say things that line up with the way the politically correct think. If Jon Ryan is embarrassed to be a part of the league, then leave Jon Ryan! No one is making you earn that fat paycheck. The nice thing about Freedom of Speech is that it is supposed to apply to everyone. Everyone is entitled to opinions. This is just the media looking to fill the page…

  6. Good for Jon Ryan. To all those who yell “freedom of speech, remember Culliver is an employee of the NFL and they have rules regarding behavior and speech, so players can’t just say and do whatever they please. While suspension may be a little harsh for a first offense, Culliver’s offensive and bigoted comments fall under the NFL’s purview.

  7. And the NFLPA would be right. Who cares what Jon Ryan thinks? He’s a punter for Pete’s sake! Culliver was wrong and he knows it. He has apologized and the team is handling it internally.

  8. Wow, this is almost as stupid as what Culliver said. The only thing Jon Ryan cares about is hurting a division rival before its most important game in almost 20 years. Transparent and pathetic.

  9. What he said was insensitive and definitely political incorrect, but well within his first amendment right of free speech.

  10. You are right he does have free speech and I’m sure the government won’t try to arrest him for his comments. In today’s world the league could easily give our suspend him for damaging the shield by speaking out against a subset of people not being allowed in a locker room.

    I think the NFL locker room is going to go through the same transformation the military did with the repeal of DADT. The bigots screamed to high heaven that it’ll cause fractures in the troops. It got repealed anyway and nothing really changed except that I found out my old work buddy I deployed with is gay.

  11. Why? Freedom of speech whether you like it or not. What do you have to say about Leroy Hill’s fourth arrest? The second related to domestic violence. I challenge you to speak up on that.

  12. totally agree with this. i teach math at a very diverse school (50% african-american, 25% white, 25% hispanic). for culliver to say what he said is equivelent to me picking out one of those ethnicities and suggesting that they should not be welcome in our schools. complete and total ignorance, and regardless of the nfl’s policy on free speech, a punishment should be handed out.

  13. Who cares what Jon Ryan thinks. If you are so embarrassed to be in a league like that then quit and go get a real job. What Culliver said is probably true for all 32 locker rooms. No matter what anyone says. I have no problem at all with what he said.

  14. John Ryan is just bein a hater. Culliver was dumb for sayin what he said, but this is just as dumb.

  15. Lucky for Chris Culliver you are a punter so nobody cares what you think! He didn’t use a slur, he didn’t say that they should be locked up or die. He said he was uncomforable with the idea. Maybe punterss from a jealous divisional rival want to treat the NFL like North Korea, but otherwise the only thing he did was express and unpopular opinion. I personally disagree with him, but the idea of further punishment is absurd, especially one beyond a fine.

  16. I actually somehow agree with a punter! If any player said this sort of thing say against a particular race there would be immediate unquestionable punishment…but since this is against a group of people that are already not widely accepted in the NFL, Chris will probably just get a slap on the wrist.

  17. If I say something stupid at work, my employer has the right to discipline me, end of story.

    People should actually read the First Amendment before they spout off about Free Speech.

  18. Wow. I love it when the mob shouts downs unapproved opinions.

    I wouldn’t care if i had a gay teammate but i certainly wouldn’t need to know it or want to hear about every day.

    Aren’t there more important issues in America than the sexual predilections of less than one percent of the population?

  19. If he gets suspended for this I would quit watching football. Everything has been turned so one sided due to media involvement and so on, please stop trying to ruin football. I don’t care if a player is gay, straight, asexual, poligimest, necropheliac, or enjoys animals. If they can play they can play. I also don’t give a darn what they have to say. Sorry but not a single player is getting suspended for pushing gay rights but if anyone opposes it they are demonized and that’s just as wrong as the person saying things he believes. But since we are forcing people to believe what we want them to believe I guess that makes it ok right?

  20. If they start suspending players for saying stupid things, they won’t have enough to play the games.

    And really, who cares to answer Artie Lange on any subject, he is a moron just out to make money acting like a fool. And he must be good at it.

  21. What would you expect a division rival to say? Here’s the scenario I’m hoping for. Big Niner win Sunday – with that comes the 2013 Thursday night season kickoff game at Candlestick early September. Their opponent? Seattle. The world champs vs the trash talking, classless wanna-be Seahawks. Oh my what a dream matchup!

  22. didn’t rashard mendenhall say some bone headed 9/11 comment a couple years ago? he wasn’t suspended for it. I could be mistaken about it being mendenhall, but somebody did.

  23. Last I checked we lived in a country that allows one to speak their opinions – whether that is offensive to some or not is totally irrelevant.

  24. this guy obviously doesn’t get the fact that punters are supposed to be seen not heard…

    people need to lighten up, this kid was caught up in a freewheeling interview that succeeded in having him say something to get the interviewers some publicity. while i don’t agree with that the guy said, this isn’t china and the nfl has way bigger problems than a young guy getting caught in the headlights.

  25. I would imagine that Jon Ryan is not so embarrassed that he would resign and refuse a large NFL paycheck.

  26. “I am absolutely embarrassed to be part of a league that accepts this type of behavior,” Ryan said on Twitter.

    Behavior? It’s called an opinion, and while it may be an offensive opinion to some it’s still his right to voice it. The PC crowd wants to stifle every voice that doesn’t step in line with their views. People say things every day that offend someone else but that’s life. You do not have a right to not be offended Mr.Ryan.

  27. Suspensions for having an opinion that isn’t politically correct?

    Careful, folks, this is a free country, and you don’t have the right to demand that others not offend you with their opinions.

    Jon Ryan (and many others) need to develop some thicker skin, or maybe just mind their own business.

  28. You have a right to free speech as far as the government is concerned (not unlimited rights either), but your employer can place restrictions on your speech. If the NFL fined or suspended Culliver, it’s not a first amendment issues, despite what Florio says or what Florio says the NFLPA might say.

  29. Suspended? If it ever came to that, athletes would soon learn to stop talking to the media for fear that *anything* said could be taken wrong and how does that benefit anybody? We all have different beliefs about different things. It’s a good thing we’re not clones with the same thoughts.

  30. 99% of players have the same opinion, this guy just went the extra mile to say it. Really? Suspension?? C’mon Man

  31. If Jon Ryan is so embarrassed to be part of the NFL, maybe he should stand by his morals and quit. Somebody else is already eyeing his job that couldn’t care less about what some stupid person has to say.

  32. I saw this on twitter and had to look this guys name up to see who he was. Sounds like some Seahawk sour grapes.

    No one cares what you think punter.

  33. i for one am sick of this agenda…be what you want to be but you cant force this mess on everyone, no matter how much money you get….stupid punter

  34. Well Jon, the world is full of stupid people who say stupid things…that being said being an athlete making millions doesn’t exclude you from being part of the stupid people in our society.

  35. Ryan should be deported back to Canada or jailed for suggesting illegal punishment against Culliver, who was well within his Constitutional rights.

  36. Suspended for what? Saying what he believes. We live in a land of free speech. Did the Seahawks Player think of that. Maybe he should be suspended for saying another player should be suspended. Turn-about is fair play in my game.

  37. This is about as stupid as it gets. Ryan thinks a player should be suspended for doing something that is legal (freedom of speech) but it’s ok for his teammates to not be suspended for doing something illegal….PED’s. You live in Seattle Jon, come in out of the rain as your brain has been submerged too long.

  38. Wow lots of legal scholars on this site talking about ‘Free Speech’. Seems most of you have actually read the first amendment then? Didn’t think so, quintessentially American.

  39. Is this punter serious? Suspend a player for sharing his views and beliefs when asked a question? No suspension or fine. Does the NFL seriously want to find itself wondering “What happened” when the game of football loses because they demand politically correct people to play and watch their sport?

    These are grown men we are talking about. Culliver has his beliefs. Are his opinions really any different than anyone else who has an opinin about anything? Is censorship of the individual acceptable to us now? I dont think so. If you keep a guy from saying certain words, the rest of his words have no meaning. What is worse, telling the truth and being ridiculed for it, or lying to appease the masses? I’ll take the truth every time.

    The young man expressed his opinion. There is no fault in that. At least he stood his ground until he was guilted into apologizing (which you know he didnt mean). So, Yeah, lets keep forcing people to believe how others believe. That is how you gain acceptance from everyone.

  40. You can’t suspend someone because of the way they feel. Iam sure his opinion is shared with a lot of other players in professional sports but their just not as stupid to voice it the way he did. I heard people call this guy a bigot. I don’t think he is I understand what he was saying but the way he said it and the words he used was bad. I think a lot of people have to realize you can’t force everybody to accept or believe what you believe and accept.

  41. Pretty sure Culliver’s freedom of speech has not been attacked as the many people posting here have suggested since I haven’t seen any stories about Culliver being arrested by the government for his repugnant views.

    Free speech means being able to say anything you want that doesn’t cause immediate danger to others without fear of prosecution, however when you say something in public that is stupid, hateful and bigoted you should expect a major backlash from people who are more enlightened. When the Klu Klux Klan or the Westboro Baptist church make inflammatory remarks they are not arrested but they are nearly universally condemned for being ignorant and obnoxious.

  42. Looks like the seahawks want a taste of media day even though it should only be for teams that are IN the superbowl! Get over it, you lost. Go Niners!!!!

  43. Some of the idiotic comments here are beyond belief . ‘sixjak’ thinks a punter is going to kick a game winner . Watch much football , fool ? Then we have ‘thereisfootballwestofjersey’ hoping to open next season against a team that handed his Niners their ass the last time they played . Top it off with a bunch of bigots ranting about free speech and you all have a collective IQ of around 10 . Wow .

  44. S.Nevada says:Feb 1, 2013 7:06 AM

    “If I say something stupid at work, my employer has the right to discipline me, end of story.
    People should actually read the First Amendment before they spout off about Free Speech.”

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    OK, I read it again. So who but an ignoramus would maintain that Culliver has no Constitutional right to say what he believes when asked? I’d love to be his attorney if those on this board get their way and he is fined.

  45. I could care less about what either have to say.

    Opinions are pointness to listen to and everyone has one.

    I was just wondering if anyone launched to investigation into where Jon Ryan’s chin ran off to? I have a theory it is off hiding with Jay Cutler’s…

  46. Sounds like Jon Ryan is the first openly gay NFL player… Good for him… I always figured most of the Seahawks players and coaches were gay…”Not that there’s anything wrong with that”!(in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice)

  47. Always nice to have comments deleted. Apparently PFT is sensitive to criticism when it comes to political correctness and their affiliation with NBC. I guess that pledge to remain “candid and open” even though joining NBC was a joke. Talk about limiting free speech.

  48. Hawkfan50, you mad bro? Must have touched a nerve. And to answer your question: Yeah I watch my team every week, you? Have you never seen a kicker choke a 3 pointer on a 19-21 score as the clock winds down to zero? Oh I guess you’re engaging in a clever excercise of symantics. Good for you. So enlightened you are.

  49. WOW! This from a punter who’s OK to be on a team with numerous drug suspensions and stole a game with that infamous “Fail Mary” pass? How selective righteous!

  50. seldom1 says:

    OK, I read it again. So who but an ignoramus would maintain that Culliver has no Constitutional right to say what he believes when asked? I’d love to be his attorney if those on this board get their way and he is fined.


    The NFL is not the federal government, and the CBA allows for the league to punish any player who negatively impacts the league with suspensions and fines. The players including Culliver agreed to that in the last retooling of the CBA. Since Culliver’s offered up the opinion that gay players would be discriminated against in the locker room he should absolutely be fined or suspended since that could open the NFL up to lawsuits if they didn’t repudiate it.

    As for the fed, since no arrests have been handed down for his hate speech his 1st amendment rights have not been violated. If you don’t understand that very simple concept you probably shouldn’t be offering to be a lawyer for anyone.

  51. If he used inflammatory language in his comments I could see a suspension being warranted but he didn’t so it would be a travesty if he was suspended.

    As much as the NFL hates it he’s entitled to his opinion politically correct or not.

    And I partly blame the NFL for allowing every nut job with a microphone to the circus that is media day and opening these guys to loaded and baited questions from “journalists” that have no interest or love for football in the first place.

  52. Free speech without limits is NOT a constitutional right. With freedom comes responsibility. Free speech does not allow you to hurt, defame, libel, slander or discriminate. That is why there are laws and subsequent lawsuits against such actions.

  53. Why am I not allowed to post a pro-Culliver response?
    Is this a gay-friendly site to the extent that pro-Culliver comments are being disallowed?

  54. Its a natural right to have an opinion, who cares about cullivers comments… people should be expected to have their own opinions that differ from other peoples’.

    Quit being so sensitive. Its 2013.

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