San Francisco 49er's homophobic comments and dumb apology

In a radio interview this week, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver said, "We ain't got no gay people on the team… They gotta get up out here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff. ... Nah, can't be ... in the locker room, man."

He has since issued an equally-intelligent apology:

"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel."

This is the same week that former-49er offensive tackle Kwame Harris was outed as he faced charges for assaulting his ex-lover, a man, outside a Chinese restaurant during an argument about soy sauce and underwear.

Meanwhile, 49ers safety Donte Whitner, who previously appeared in an "In Gets Better Project" video supporting LGBT teens, expressed disappointment in Culliver's intolerance:

"I actually do feel differently from what Chris said," Whitner said. "We are NFL players, but we are humans also. Who knows? There could be somebody gay in our locker room right now that's scared to come out, which he has a right to be if he is scared to come out because of all of this and how other teammates might feel. But I feel like anybody can be who they want to be if they want to be that. As long as you don't disrespect other people and go about your own business in your way, I don't see what the problem is."

Chris Culliver issues apology (ESPN)

"49ers' Donte Whitner ready to accept gay teammate, disappointed in Chris Culliver" (USA Today)

"Ex-49er Kwame Harris accused of beating up ex-boyfriend appears in court" (SF Examiner)



  1. That apology totally reads like it was written by the same person as the original offensive comment. There’s absolutely no way it was carefully constructed by a public relations team trying to avoid a disaster.

    1. The disparity between the two remarks is so huge it’s laughable. I guess the NFL spin doctors don’t know how to write in uneducated homophobic ‘english’ (I use the word loosely because I’m not even sure Culliver’s diatribe was in english)

        1. Nice political correctness there. Tell me, what was racist? That I pointed out that his rant was far removed from standard English  and was barely intelligible? That for someone who supposedly graduated from college, he sounds less coherent than my 3 yr old?

          1. It’s a transcript of a radio interview, not a written statement, and thus is in colloquial language.  And your comment is composed almost entirely of dependent clauses posing as sentences.

          2. Ah ok I see, so if you speak out loud and sound like a totally ignorant bigot, it’s ok because it’s “colloquial language”? Interesting.

          3. That wasn’t your original point, and there’s no relationship between colloquial language and bigotry unless you have a study to prove otherwise.

        2. Hmmm, so you’re more offended that someone points out his absolutely terrible grammar/ spelling/ slang, instead of the fact that this piece of shit decided to go off on a bigoted, mean spirited homophobic rant? Mkay…

    2. I was hoping to find a book cover for Apologies for Dummies but the internet has failed me.

  2. The 49ers organization seemed pretty angry in their response:

    “The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris,” the team said. “There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community.”

    This is the opinion one 24-year-old man, that came from the inner city of Philadelphia. Now, that is not an excuse, but I think Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (a player, like Chris Kluwe supports the rights of homosexuals) responded best with: 

    “You know, I think that in San Francisco, and being from the Bay Area myself, that’s something that we really try to preach — love and acceptance of everybody. And so I couldn’t really even say anything negative to the young man. It’s just one of those things where you have to live and you have to learn. And I said earlier on (a TV broadcast) — in the words of Martin Luther King, you can’t fight hate with hate. You have to fight hate with love. We’ve all made our mistakes, we’ve all been there and done certain things, and we’ve hurt people regardless if we meant to do it or not. But more than anything it’s an opportunity to have a learning experience.”

    The only way we can really combat this ignorance is with love and understanding. Otherwise the two sides will be getting further and further apart.

  3. At least Culliver initially described homosexuality as “that sweet stuff”. So he’s against any of his teammates being gay, but outside of the NFL it’s sweet.

    That was the most poorly phrase offensive comment ever to not come out of the mouth of Tony Perkins.

    1. “tight end”, “sweet stuff”, “wide receiver” football is like one giant double entendre. Why don’t they all just bang and get it over with.

  4. I suppose it’s a small consolation, but at least we’ve come far enough as a society that those kinds of hateful comments are widely recognized as being offensive and controversial. A couple of decades ago it probably would have created more uproar if an NFL player publicly acknowledged the basic human rights of LGBT people.

  5. “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel.”

    Stupid CIA mind-control transceivers.

  6. Dude, you are getting ready to play in the Superbowl. Now? This is the time you choose to say something this stupid?

    Is it freedom of speech to express your inner most moron…sure is. Doesn’t mean your not a moron.

  7. I’ve brought this up before, but it seems topical: ever notice that most NFL team names sound like derogatory terms for homosexuals if you precede them with the word “Ass”?

    Ass Packers
    Ass Ollers
    Ass Rams
    Ass Chargers
    Ass Vikings
    Ass Steelers
    Ass Cowboys
    Ass Raiders

    Others don’t quite fit as-is, but they do if you use synonyms:

    Buccaneers = Ass Pirates
    49ers = Ass Miners

    And then there are a couple that just sound gross (I’m looking at you, Cleveland and New York).

    1. Our team has a positive slang name up here in Chicago, and it suits the food, weather and culture of the place as well…

    2. If the Ass Vikings are going to defeat the Ass Rams, they’re going to need quite a few pairs of Wellies.

  8. The seemingly one good thing to come of this is the outpouring of support for the LGBT community from other players/coaches/teams. Times have certainly changed, and this incident is helping to prove that point.

  9. Recommend you all read his actual apology.  The quote above is not substantive.  Here’s what he actually said, which to me speaks to genuine thoughts and the possibility of change:

    “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” Culliver said in a statement released by the team. “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.”

    1. Yep, that’s the statement. However, it was a formal “statement” that he or someone thought about very carefully before releasing and the first sentence is still entirely idiotic.

  10. how crazy that the “soy sauce & underwear” link takes me to my local paper. made me do a double-take.

  11. Man, the response from other NFL players has been soooo much better than those of their fanbase in many comment streams, esp. at HuffPo. So much Angry Straight White Male angst. I blame flouride

    1. Indeed, it’s shameful: a good woman would just take a beating and be done with it. These uppity gays, can’t trust’em.

  12. Entirely fair: ain’t got no black people up in my house. They got to get on back to Africa. Can’t have none of that soul stuff up in here. 

    1. You’ve identified an almost perfect demographic for buyers for the Brooklyn Bridge. They have money and they just do whatever they’re told without questioning it.

      1. Please, Antinous, that’s San Francisco, a city full to the hilt of smart high-IQ people from all over the world, people who know when they’re being swindled. You should have called it Golden Gate Bridge, of course.

  13. Well when your job is to get hit repeatedly in the head, don’t expect much in the ways of profound conversation.

  14. Incidentally Su-Hong’s the chinese restaurant in question, is REALLY good. I’ve been there hundreds of times since childhood. I personally recommend the BBQ pork chow mein.

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