49er Chris Culliver apologizes for comments about gays 

click to enlarge Chris Culliver (29), seen here joking with Aldon Smith (99), went against team policy when he said some questionable things on Media Day. - AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP File Photo
  • Chris Culliver (29), seen here joking with Aldon Smith (99), went against team policy when he said some questionable things on Media Day.

NEW ORLEANS — Niners cornerback Chris Culliver opposed team policy when he made anti-gay remarks during a Tuesday interview.

Speaking with comedian Artie Lang on Super Bowl Media Day, Culliver said when asked about homosexuals in the NFL, “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.”

Culliver added that gay players wouldn’t be welcomed in the locker room, and that they shouldn’t come out until 10 years after they retire.

The team issued a statement Wednesday that read, “The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, 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.”

Culliver released his own statement through the team later in the day apologizing for the remarks:

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

Culliver’s comments came days after former 49ers offensive lineman Kwame Harris was charged with felony domestic violence in relation to an alleged attack on a former boyfriend.

Super athlete: If you were asked to name the best athlete on the 49ers, names like Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick and Aldon Smith would probably come to mind. Not so, said linebacker NaVorro Bowman.
“[It’s] probably [defensive tackle] Isaac Sopoaga,” Bowman said. “He’s about 350 [pounds], can throw the ball probably 100 yards, can catch, can run, can lift whatever he wants to lift and can eat whatever he wants to eat.”

Familiar face: The Niners’ Patrick Willis and Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher, whose story was the backbone for the hit movie “The Blind Side,” were college teammates at Ole Miss. But the linebacker said their friendship won’t stand in the way of the ultimate goal. “It’s going to be a blessing to play against someone that you played college ball with and someone that you admire as a person,” Willis said. “You wish him well, but at the same time too, we want to win.”

Divine intervention: One of the big storylines this week in the Big Easy has centered around God and the impact religion has on a large number of players on both sides. From Ray Lewis to David Akers, players have been asked to offer up much more than football analysis. Even so much so, that the issue of Sports Illustrated which hit newsstands Wednesday features Lewis under the headline “Does God Care Who Wins the Super Bowl?”

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Dylan Kruse

Dylan Kruse

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