You seriously can't get through the media superstorm that is the week before the Super Bowl without a player saying something really, really stupid. Case in point: Chris Culliver. He's a cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, and he recently caused a lot of controversy over his viewpoints on homosexuals.
A radio host asked the 24-year-old first about his sex plans with white women during Super Bowl week (yeah ...). He followed that up by asking Culliver if he'd ever pursue a homosexual man.
"I don't do the gay guys, man. I don't do that ... 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."
He then went on to say a gay teammate wouldn't be accepted. "Nah. Can't be ... in the locker room, nah. You've gotta come out 10 years later after that."
Disgusting, right? And, seriously, hate to say it, but we're all thinking it: Did this dude completely forget which city he plays for?
San Francisco is a city that has long embraced diversity, across ethnicities and sexualities. They have a huge gay population. Of course, Chris has every right to express his opinion, just as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has the right to champion gay marriage. But when Chris represents his team and makes comments that are exclusionary or intolerant or non-PC or just downright hateful about a group of people, he's got to be prepared to accept the consequences. Consequences like, when folks first read these comments, things like "gahh" and "idiot" immediately come to mind.
So naturally, the team has spoken out against Chris' viewpoints, and Chris issued a much more eloquent, rehearsed apology himself, as these situations tend to warrant.
"I'm sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments. Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation."
The head coach, Jim Harbaugh, also met with Culliver to talk about that interview. All right, so you obviously can't judge an entire team and organization based on one lone player's dumb comments, but many are calling for him to be suspended due to the trouble he's caused the 49ers before the biggest football game of the year. Regardless, as Ayanbadejo so eloquently put it:
"You can't fight hate with hate. You've got to fight hate with love."
I fully believe that Culliver was being truthful when he told that radio host he was uncomfortable with gays in the locker room. It's sad and very telling about what the guy's guy culture is like in the professional sports world. Still, we can try to follow Ayanbadejo's advice and hope, deep down, that Culliver has learned from his mistake and will think before he spews anything that sounds remotely intolerant from now on. It's just a really big shame to get reminders like this about how far we still have to go.
Here's footage from the interview:
Do you think Chris Culliver should be suspended for these remarks?
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