San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver did a radio interview with comedian Artie Lange in the lead-in to Super Bowl XLVII. TMZ reported on Jan. 30 that Culliver made some homophobic comments during the interview that may prove bullying based on sexual orientation may exist in the 49ers locker room.
When Lange asked about gays in the NFL, Culliver said that he doesn't "do the gay guys" and that there are no homosexual players on the San Francisco 49ers squad. He then went on to say that if any of them were gay, they needed to "get up out of here." He then finished by saying that not only should gay players in the NFL keep in the closet, but stay quiet about it for at least 10 years after retiring.
This might cause problems at Super Bowl XLVII because the Baltimore Ravens have a very outspoken pro-gay rights advocate in linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. Despite not being gay himself, he has passionately promoted gay marriage rights. Luckily, both men play defense and will not face each other one-on-one during game play.
Also, luckily for the San Francisco 49ers, his beliefs are not shared by his team.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh said he asks players to be who they are, as well as a good teammate and player. Linebacker Larry Grant said they are all members of a big family, regardless of who they are. Cornerback Tarell Brown said that everyone should do what makes them happy.
It looks, as far as Chris Culliver's anti-gay bullying rant, he might be an army of one.
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Shawn S. Lealos is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, the professional film critics’ organization of Oklahoma. He is also working on a book about the Stephen King dollar babies called “Dollar Deal.” To read more of his writing, visit shawnlealos.net.