The San Francisco 49er who earlier this week said he didn’t want gay football players in the locker room, paid the price today.
Chris Culliver had to face the media for 45 minutes of grilling about his comments on a radio station.
“That’s not what’s in my heart,” Culliver said.
Before the media session today, he released this statement:
‘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.”
Doug Farrar at Yahoo Sports doesn’t consider the case closed yet:
The real question has to do with locker room culture, the possibility of putting people who are different in corners they’re trying to get out of, and taking steps away from the idea of true equality in the NFL.
Everyone will give the right, pat answers when asked whether Culliver’s words are truly representative of the way most players feel. We won’t know for sure until and unless someone is brave enough to test those potentially dangerous waters.
It’ll be a long slog. Today, Houston Texans linebacker Connor Barwin became the latest athlete to join Athlete Ally, which encourages college and professional athletes to pledge to support fellow athletes regardless of sexual orientation. Barwin’s older brother is gay.
There are a more than 6,000 college and pro athletes who have taken that pledge. Only four NFL players are among them, the Vikings’ Chris Kluwe included.