San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, who recently apologized for anti-gay remarks he made at Super Bowl media day on Wednesday, said he hopes to “grow” from the “experience and this situation” created by the comments. The 24-year-old recognizes his apology doesn’t take away from the hurt he may have created from his initial comments and has decided to express his remorse through his actions. In a press release released today by Culliver, the 49er cornerback has reached out to The Trevor Project for guidance and education about the LGBTQ community through The Trevor Project’s “Trevor Lifeguard Workshop” LGBTQ training program.
Culliver, who has revealed that he does have gay family members and close friends, is indeed embracing this situation as an experience of growth and an opportunity to learn. The Trevor Project offers age-appropriate education programs to help people of all ages learn more about the unique and inspiring challenges faced by LGBTQ youth.
Lauren McGinnis, Communications Director for The Trevor Project feels this is the right path for Culliver:
“We really feel that education about LGBT youth and the challenges they face is a great way to get [Chris] started on the right path, especially since he’s a role model and there are kids all over the country with his poster on their wall, his jersey – his fans that take his words and actions to heart.”
She clarified that the Trevor Project in no way accepts nor condones the comments made by Culliver, but does look forward to working with him in what both sides recognize as a long road towards understanding.
Culliver who is now just a day away from playing in the Super Bowl seems disappointed in his comments and the negative attention he has brought to himself and his team.
“As an African American male, I should know better. Hate and discrimination have a lasting effect and word matter. I also have a responsibility to myself, and especially to my young fans to be a better role model. The kids who look up to me and other athletes are the future of our country, and our future deserves better than fear, hate and discrimination…I was wrong, and I want to learn how to make it right. That’s why I reached out to an organization called The Trevor Project…No child should ever feel like they are less than anyone else, and God has put me through this storm so I can learn from my mistakes and help make sure no child has to feel that way, again.”
Culliver will begin working with The Trevor Project staff and volunteers in the weeks following Super Bowl XLVII.