The media is always searching for controversy ahead of the Super Bowl, and San Francisco 49ers cornerback handed the press a gift yesterday when he said gay men are not welcome in his team’s locker room. In an interview with Artie Lang Culliver stated (transcript and audio clip via Mediate),
“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. Come out 10 years later after that.”
“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’s comments create multiple problems for the 49ers franchise.
First, Culliver’s comments create an unwelcome distraction for the team as they should be focusing on the Baltimore Ravens. The controversy is surely not over, as anything short of a full-scale apology from Culliver personally will be deemed inadequate.
Secondly, Culliver’s team plays in a city that historically has been the heart of the gay rights movement. San Francisco still has a very large, active gay rights community today. If Culliver does not recant quickly the team can expect large protests at games next year.