This article is the opinion of contributor Ryan Marple
It has been a week since offensive remarks were made by San Francisco CB Chris Culliver at Media Day. For those of you who didn't hear the quotes, Culliver was asked if he would welcome a gay teammate. His response, "I don't do the gay guys. I don't do that. We don't have any gay guys on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff. Yeah, come out 10 years later after that,” Culliver said.
I, like most, find these comments completely unacceptable. Since these statements, the 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Culliver himself have since come out to “clarify” his original statement, Unfortunately, the clarifications were almost as hilariously bad as the original! Culliver’s apology was a joke, and the way he conducted himself in the apologetic press conference gave me no reason to believe him.
What he specifically said was, “"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." He also said he thinks he was baited into making a controversial statement. Way to take responsibility, man.
So let me get this straight; those were thoughts in your head, but not in your heart? And that's supposed to be a genuine apology? How can we, the public, buy that he is sincere? The “apology” was clearly forced from upper management and his head coach, and it's clear to me he didn't clearly grasp what he did wrong. It reminded me of my childhood when my parents would force me to say “I'm sorry” to my brothers, but all parties involved really knew I wasn't sorry.
One of the things that make Culliver's statement so horrendous is the fact he plays in San Francisco, which is the informal “gay capital” of the United States of America. San Francisco has been on the forefront of gay rights advocacy since Harvey Milk in the 1970s. Now a player for the team in that very same city is coming out publicly, on the biggest media day in sports, and expressing his intolerance? Unacceptable.