Chris Culliver of the San Francisco 49ers participateed in an impromptu interview Jan. 29 with provocative talk-show host Artie Lange, and his comments about gay men and gay teammates have caused quite a stir ahead of the Super Bowl.
After asking Culliver how many "white chicks" he would "bang," Lange asked him if any gay men had approached him and if there were any gay players on his team. Culliver replied:
"Nah, I don't do the gay guys, man. I don't do that. ... No, they don't got no gay people on the team, they got to get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff. ... Nah, can't be in the locker room. ... You gotta come out 10 years later after that."
Facing a backlash of criticism, Culliver sat down Jan. 31 with reporters for follow up questions. He said his comments were made in a joking manner and:
"I'm sorry if I offended anyone. Like I said, those weve very ugly comments, and that's not what I feel in my heart. And I hope I can learn and grow from this experience and this situation. And that I love San Francisco. ... I don't have no differences in other sexualities ... and I treat everyone equal in any type of way. So, it's not how I feel."
Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has been an outspoken advocate for gay marriage rights, told The Baltimore Sun that he planned to contact Culliver for a positive discussion. He said Culliver's comments were not reflective of every NFL player, and noted that he has, at times, seen slow improvement in other players understanding that anti-gay comments are hurtful and inappropriate. He indicated that ignorance was a root cause:
"A lot of guys don't know anything about it. They may have friends in the LGBT community but they don't know it. They have no knowledge or understanding of the situation, so I try to shed some light on it when I can.