On Wednesday, San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver made some remarks that were anti-gay in an interview with Artie Lange. They ended up being derogatory towards a whole community.
”I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that,” said Culliver. ”Ain’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. [It] can’t be with that sweet stuff, can’t be in the locker room. You’ve gotta come out 10 years later after that.”
On Thursday morning, Culliver said he was speaking what was on his mind, but not thinking about how harmful his words became.
Jim Harbaugh said it will not be a distraction, despite the news being spread around the world. He had a closed meeting with Culliver about what he said, saying it was discriminatory.
“We reject what he said,” said Harbaugh. “That in no way reflects how the organization feels, and how most of the players feel. His impact going forward on the team is something we’ll think about. He will learn from it, he made a statement, and he pledged to grow from it. We hope it will affect him in a positive way going forward.”
Even though he apologized for what he said after the 49ers talked to him, the damage has already been done.
The words from Culliver show how people are still not willing to accept minorities in the world. There have been several movements to allow same-sex rights, including marriage which is 10 states.
Homophobia does not belong anywhere and people need to be tolerant of others despite the differences. Culliver had two options when he was asked about homosexual teammates by Lange:
1. He could have dismissed the question saying “no comment” and moved on to the next one.
2. He could be honest and tell directly his thoughts about the idea of gay teammates with raw emotion.
Culliver ended up doing the latter and a wave of angry tweets came to his Twitter account when the news broke.
Playing for the 49ers is what really hurts his image. San Francisco has one of the largest gay communities in the United States and the reception will not be kind when they hear about this.
Not only was the comments showing bigotry, but the timing of was the worst possible moment to say them. With the Super Bowl being less than a week away, this cannot be a distraction among the team. While Harbaugh has already addressed Culliver in a private meeting, people will still think about his statements when he steps on the field.
When the Super Bowl is over, Culliver will still need to show that his apology means something rather than being empty words. His actions will speak more than words. For now, he is labeled as a homophobic person until further notice. The damage cannot be mended overnight, but if he reaches out to the gay community in the future, forgiveness can come.