We’ll admit, San Francisco 49ers corner Chris Culliver wasn’t at the top of anyone’s list of “Players To Keep Tabs On Because Of The Ridiculous Things They Say” during Super Bowl week. We also didn’t count on him telling Artie Lange gay players have no place in any locker room of his, so there’s that.
Lange, a Howard Stern disciple, approached Culliver on Media Day and asked him if there were any gay players on the 49ers. Lange thought the “stupid” question was just part of his trademark “goofy interview”, and under most circumstances, this question usually doesn’t get asked of a player Super Bowl week. But Lange’s question was actually poignant, considering the spike in discussion gays in football has gotten by way of developments in the Manti Te’o hoax and the recent outing of Kwame Harris after his domestic abuse scandal.
Culliver didn’t shy away from the question, and answered it with no apparent regard for the fact that what he was about to say just miiiiiight be taken kind of poorly by some people.
“I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can’t be…in the locker room man. Nah.”
There’s no need to tread lightly with Culliver. This isn’t a case of misspeaking, misinterpretation or the media making a presumably good guy look bad because of a verbal slip (a la Joe Flacco). Culliver is a homophobic, misogynistic man, perpetually choking on his own overflowing testosterone.
Boy I wake up to a mean txt females in general just be — well let me just say they be on there PERIOD!! #1 love is mom dudes!!! Period
— Chris culliver (@Cullyinthehouse) January 30, 2013
Smartly, the 49ers repudiated Culliver’s statements, quickly distancing the organization from one of its backwards-thinking players. Of course, since San Francisco has long been a bastion of acceptance of the LGBT community (but mostly because what Culliver said was hateful), you shouldn’t have expected otherwise.
“The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made [Tuesday], and have addressed the matter with Chris. There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community.”
The NFL is a brutish, testosterone-driven league, which unsurprisingly has never had an openly gay player who was out while he was still playing. The light at the end of the tunnel, one that leads to a sports world where athletes can just come out and not have to worry about negative repercussions and discrimination inside the locker room or out, is evidently still pretty far away. Let’s just hope Culliver doesn’t play hero in the Super Bowl, leading 49ers fans everywhere in endless melancholy, much like what I’ve experienced since David Tyree did this, then said this.
[Yahoo! Sports, Getty Images]