49ers’ cornerback Chris Culliver’s remarks about gay players during his pre-Super Bowl interview caused controversy for both the player and the team. One person who was not surprised by the player’s remarks was comedian Artie Lange, according to a Feb. 5 TMZ report.
Lange interviewed Culliver and is reportedly responsible for releasing the footage of Culliver saying that gay players are not welcome in the team’s locker room. “I hope he learns from it and I hope I'm responsible for breaking the gay barrier in the NFL,” Lange told TMZ.
Lange says he hopes NFL players will become more tolerant of gay players, but he does not think that it will happen until an active gay player comes out of the closet.
“I think unfortunately what Culliver said reflects what 99 % of the league thinks,” Lange says. “What's gonna have to happen is a real star player, a Jackie Robinson type, a real star player is gonna have to come out while he is playing and other people will follow.”
Culliver has since apologized for his comments and the 49ers have announced he'll undergo sensitivity training with a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth organization.
According to his public relations representative, Theodore Palmer, Culliver is scheduled to begin working with The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
“It's just an opportunity for him to learn about his comments and educate himself about the LGBT community, and grow,” Palmer said. “It's the first step in learning about his words.”
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