On January 29th, five days before a Super Bowl game in which he’d be embarrassingly outwitted by Baltimore Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Cullvier told comedian Artie Lange during an interview that an openly gay football player wouldn’t be welcomed in a National Football League locker room.
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.
The next day, amid the ensuing media storm, Culliver made an apology, in which he made a questionable differentiation between his mind and his emotions.
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.
The explanation for his prejudiced remarks was largely mocked at the time, but a month after his team’s Super Bowl loss, Culliver followed through on his commitment to “learn and grow from this experience.” On Monday, the backup cornerback visited The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.