Signorile: NFL Must Suspend Chris Culliver for Anti-Gay Remarks

Mike Signorile says the NFL must suspend Chris Culliver:

CulliverThe NFL and many of its officials as well as many team owners, managers and coaches, have gone to great lengths in condemning homophobia and saying it would be fine for a player to come out as gay, that he'd be accepted and welcome. But statements like this, if they go unpunished, make all of that look like window dressing, as no player is going to even think about coming out…

…This cannot stand. The 49ers and the NFL need to take action and send a strong message. John Aravosis at Americablog points out that the 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs just last month for making derogatory comments about his bosses. Are the team management saying they take it seriously when they, themselves, are insulted, but not when closeted gay players and gay fans are treated to bigoted, offensive remarks?

If there is no suspension, the message from the NFL to young people, amid continued reports of suicide by LGBT youth who experienced bullying, is that it's okay for sports players and everyone else to attack gays and demand they stay closeted and living in shame. If there are no repercussions, the NFL's words about support and acceptance of gay athletes and fans are completely empty.

Earlier updates…
Outed Former SF 49er Kwame Harris Denounces Culliver's Anti-Gay Remarks [tr]
SF 49er Chris Culliver on Anti-Gay Remarks: 'I Apologize to Those I Have Offended' [tr]
SF 49er Chris Culliver: Gays Not Welcome in the Locker Room or the NFL – AUDIO [tr]


  1. HadenoughBS says

    Culliver’s insensitive and downright stupid homophobic comments makes one wonder if the 49ers “It Gets Better” campaign video was just for show or for real. If the latter, I hope the team and/or the NFL consider his dumbassness seriously by taking consequential action against him and his big mouth!

  2. Geoff says

    Dumb scum. Even if he feels that way it was SO stupid to broadcast it to everyone. Methinks the lady doth protest too much? I have never watched the Superbowl. Won’t now.

  3. Fensox says

    Censure him. Don’t tell commissions how to punish Michael, you are a radio host.

    Your point is that non-insult based gay hate needs to be nipped in the bud.

    Some disapproval that imperils his career is needed. Like when a company sends a troubled employee to a harassment seminar. But if you want your complaint taken seriously, don’t muddy your point by jumping in too far. Your grievance is legitimate and if he hasn’t been censured then the NFL has a massive HR gap that your issue may address.

  4. says

    I agree and applaud Signorile for speaking out and demanding that Culliver be suspended. He’s entirely right. If the NFL does nothing then they are never to be trusted. Fine Culliver big. Slap an immediate suspension on him – SuperBowl or not. His words have put a pall over all of the Forty-Niners and I’m a native San Franciscan. I was so embarrassed and hurt by his words that a game I have been greatly anticipating suddenly dropped down on my desire to see list. Culliver needs to be removed from the NFL entirely.

  5. Buckie says

    Ridiculous. He’s just saying what he thinks, what most people like him believe.

    If you’re embarrassed and hurt by his words, you’re an idiot. Grow some balls.

    The team and the NFL officials have already condemned the remarks, you drama queens need to go out there and get yourselves some lives.

    The over reacting to this is what’s embarrassing, what a bunch of sissies you all are.

    Culliver is the perfect representative of his kind. He is what he is.

  6. Jayson says

    If we all believed like you do, there would be no black players in the NFL. There would be no right to marry outside of your race. Women would not have the right to vote or own land. Do you want to go back to that kind of America? I DO NOT!

  7. Fensox says

    His kind? WTF is wrong with you? Do you not read? how can you type such a terrible paragraph?

    And if you think of anyone as a representative of a “kind” you are a racist.

  8. Oliver says

    If some white player from the 49ers (are there any white players?) made a public comment about n*gg*ers on the team I’d be curious to see how management/owners reacted, not to mention how Buckie would react.

  9. rustytrawler says


    I’m not embarrassed at all by his words.I think he’s an idiot though because it’s very likely he IS playing alongside other gay players.

    He’s allowed to say whatever he wants and be the perfect example of whatever he is, but there are still consequences. And the team and the NFL have a right and duty to punish language and actions that impact teamwork.

  10. Derrick from Philly says

    “If some white player from the 49ers (are there any white players?) made a public comment about n*gg*ers on the team I’d be curious to see how management/owners reacted, not to mention how Buckie would react.”

    Difficult to say, Oliver. I mean, I don’t know how they would react to a White 49er’s comment,

    “Dang, we couldn’t win without these n.ggers on our team. Thank the Lord for n.ggers!”

  11. Oliver says

    “I don’t do the gay guys man,” Culver told radio host Artie Lange.

    how do you think this would go over?

    I don’t do the n*gg*er guys man, Akers told radio host Artie Lange.

  12. guest says

    Doubt that will happen. Someone here please explain why his locker room concerns are invalid? Women dont share space with men and especially not large professional athletes. Not just (rightly) for their personal comfort and saftey but also to avoid the guys being distracted. Why should this principle not apply to gay athletes?

  13. says

    Another day, another idiot athlete saying something horribly offensive. These lame apologies are meaningless, coming every other day. “Gosh, I didn’t know!” they say mere minutes after another idiot athlete apologized. I’m with Mr. Signorile: unless these men are fined and suspended from games, these offensive idiocies will continue.

  14. Max says

    Leave the man alone. He gave you an apology. No matter how insincere it might have sounded, he still was made to eat crow for spouting off the way he did. Not everyone would have. Do you think a Ted Nugent type would have ate his words just because some found them offensive? This is just a case of some bitter, vengeful people vindictively wanting see someone drug out into the town square and publicly flogged because they said something that they didn’t like. Society has become way too thin skinned and hypersensitive when it comes to sh*t like this. I’m all for the 49ers disciplining him, but I hope that it’s all done behind the scenes. The public doesn’t need to be indulged.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    “‘I don’t do the gay guys man,'” Culver told radio host Artie Lange.

    how do you think this would go over?

    I don’t do the n*gg*er guys man, Akers told radio host Artie Lange.

    Same answer, Oliver. They would think David Akers was doing a Gay rap song.

  16. guest says

    Oh the irony of throwing racial slurs on a gay website complaining about homophobia! This white straight man is extremely amused at the degree of stupidity. Seriously though someone please answer my question posted above so I can get the f.uc.k out of here.

  17. ratbastard says

    He’s a moron, and by the sounds of it, semi-literate at best. Unless they have specific rules that he agreed to in his contract about speaking out like he did [this could include something vague, like embarrassing the team/NFL] I doubt they can suspend him or even fine him.

  18. Jake says

    Overkill. He said something stupid and mean, the public reacted, the 49ers denounced him, and Culliver recanted and apologized. It’s over. Stop wanting a pound of flesh over peoples’ mere comments. Stop acting like you need other people to validate you. Learn how to forgive and move on.

  19. jason says

    Should not be suspended and from the superbowl at that? thats overkill. Give him a fine and move on…we have free speech for a reason and it should not have been said but suspending is overkill.

  20. Chitown kev says

    well, towleroad ate my comment so thank you derrick…I am so unimpressed by all of these outraged white queens wanting to throw arounf the n-word…now if anything would make both Culliver AND Kwame harris kick y’all lily white gay asses, that would do it…and I wouldn’t lift a finger to stop it.

  21. ratbastard says


    Obviously, they gave him his degree. He isn’t the only one, and no there are plenty of non-black versions of him, so this isn’t a ‘racist’ comment.

  22. Larry says

    Man you white guys are just as bigoted as chris is, throwing around the n-word just because you mad and want revenge so hey i’ma offend all african americans to be equal. Hate plus hate never solves the problem

  23. CS9 says


    Yes, there are plenty of non-black versions of Culliver, but I notice that the level of anger usually isn’t quite as extreme when they get reported on…

  24. Frank says

    A reporter asked the question and Culver gave an honest answer. Why ask the question if you want him to lie and give a polically correct response. What good does it do to hear lies that the locker room is free from discrimination when it’s not? His response indicates we still have work to do. You shouldn’t fine people for providing us with information.

  25. ratbastard says


    I hear you, and think many gays and others [especially ‘progressives’] automatically think black people should be uber P.C. and are especially outraged when some aren’t. I personally don’t place any special above and beyond onus on black people to uber P.C. or ‘progressive’. In fact, I find that to be a pretty genuinely racist way of thinking.

  26. Matt Kuksa says

    He shouldn’t be fired or suspended. I don’t even think he should be fined; that sort of thing should only happen when a COC violation happens on the court/field.

    Look, he said something stupid, was forced to retract his statements and apologize. In the meantime the 49s publicly denounced his comments, asserting that his remarks weren’t the philosophy of the organization. That’s enough. Let it go.

    Keep picking and picking at this and what’s gonna happen is folks are gonna start feeling sorry for this guy and rushing in to defend him. Right now everyone can agree that he was a jerk for saying what he did. The longer this subject continues, the sooner it’ll morph into a tacky debate over free speech.

  27. Terry says

    I am inclined to “hear” him when he says seeing his comments in writing made him think. We know these NFL and NBA players often come up through environments where homophobic slurs are tossed off with no real directed meaning. Unlearning predjudice is a process. I say we accept his apology and move on.

  28. mon says

    he is stupid and insensitive, but he was just merely expressing what he believes…we cannot censure everybody for what they believe and what they honestly stand for…nope…

  29. MCnNYC says

    PLEASE his comments could also be seen as threatening:
    No gay on THIS team…if so they better get up out of here…or what?
    No it seems that the It Get’s Better video was just PR for the team cause they are in SF and they gotta do it…i mean the pressure was there.
    I must have missed where his team mates condemned his hate speech and he should have also apologized to his team cause his comments make them look like they would kill any queer who might be on their team.
    Bottom line: this wasn’t a marriage equality question or civil rights this was no gay is welcome on this team and they better not be here or else.

  30. Mike says

    suspending him is just stupid. what ego to think all should have a warm and fuzzy feel for gay folk. it is much better that he spoke his mind and we know our enemy.

  31. Carlos says

    If a gay athlete said what he said about a black athlete, he wouldn’t only be suspended, he’d be instantly fired, banned from the sport, and banned from getting a job. Homophobia? meh, it’s cool. Racism? OFF WITH THEIR HEAD!
    Amazing double standard.

  32. says

    His teammates came out and said they didn’t know they were doing the It Gets Better campaign for gay teenagers, and weren’t sure if they would do it if they knew prior that it was for gay kids.

    This team has a lot of explaining to do for an LGBT fan base that has supported them for far too long.

  33. Siox says

    There needs to be SOMETHING done. I don’t know if it’s suspension but the 49ers making some manufactured apology and writing it for him isn’t enough. Seriously, and especially now that a few fellow 49er players are coming out and questioning why they participated in the ‘It Gets Better’ campaign- which is disgusting that they would even go there or question their participation. The higher ups have got some cleaning to do and they can start with either a press confrence or something, but that little letter written by an intern ain’t enough.

  34. T.J says

    His comments were beyond homophobic, they specifically advocated discrimination and segregation….so yeah, they do need to do more than just say “welp, sorry”

  35. Junior says

    As others noted, considering it’s San Francisco, a town that has so much history with LGBT movement and our cause and our pains, there’s another element to this that the team really should consider. I mean, this is a city that prides itself in our diversity and especially our great LGBT contributors, and his words were an attack. Point blank. So either the team does something about it, beyond a generic apology letter, or their sorta an extension of him and supporting it. Actions speak much louder than words.

  36. Max says

    Leave him alone? PLEASE.

    You homophobe pieces of dirt resent that the gay community grew a spine after years of trashing and throwing us around. WE WON’T TAKE IT NO MORE. And will MOST CERTAINLY hold irresponsible bigots accountable. Don’t like it? don’t be a homophobe

  37. Truth says

    It’s amazing the same people defending him in these comments are the same people taking issue with so called gay racism. They see homophobia as passable and acceptable, especially by a person in the public eye, but are livid over some perceived racist comments.
    Proof that the people who scream racism the loudest are always the biggest homophobes.

  38. Gay Dad says

    all these black posters defending him. HUGE problem with homophobia within the black community, especially gay black community.
    This society would be so much more advanced on our rights without them.

  39. Michelle says

    The same posters defending him would be outraged if a gay person said the word …n igger. They only value their civil rights. They don’t and never could care about anyone else’s. Heck, they stand in the way of our rights consistently.

  40. Thalo says

    Reacting to comments made by these ignorant beings, with below average IQ, only feeds into their high pitched cackling. You see, in their idiotic minds they think they have somehow rattled us by our reactionary behavior. I feel, the best thing to do is to ignore these beings and smile at their pitiful mentally challenged state. Think about it, these are the same beings who think that manhood is determined by the number of children a man can sire without being a father to any of his bastards.

  41. says

    @ MJ
    It is amusing when you can so clearly tell a particular post has been linked on another site, one frequented by straight people. When they come comment here and are so proudly flippant toward homophobia, and couple that up with them saying he didn’t say anything offensive and gays need to get over it is my red flag that the story has been linked elsewehre and we have lurkers posting. Pretty obvious in this case.

    Heterosexuals: go make yourselves useful and get a divorce and cheat on your spouse, like you normally do please. Bye

  42. andrew says

    Culliver is an ignorant bigot and his comments are offensive. However, to suspend him would only make him a martyr in the eyes of many. Just let him and his poorly phrased words twist in the wind.

  43. andrew says

    Culliver is one of the many fatherless boys who play in the NFL and have been raised by single mothers. They haven’t had good male role models during their formative years and so don’t really know how real men think and act. Surrounded by only female role models they are insecure in their masculine identity. We know that males insecure in their own manhood are often the most homophobic because they are so insecure.

  44. Sports Fan says

    Completely agree with Michael Signoralie, and I love how we speaks out on issues regarding our community. Something needs to be done to send a loud message that homophobia won’t be tolerated.
    NFL, please show leadership.

  45. curiousshek says

    Had he said something about any other people, he’d be suspended or fired. But society make homophobia acceptable. Some people feel entitled to hate on gays, and only get bent out of shape when things are negatively said about them.

  46. Muse says

    Right on Signorile!
    either we have a zero tolerance policy with homophobia, like people do with racism, or we’re not doing enough. Tackle homophobia now. It’s 2013.

  47. Rich says

    While a locker room is normally a private space, the locker rooms of professional sports teams are regularly invaded by strangers with press passes, some of whom are obviously the “wrong” gender to be in those spaces. And it’s likely that some reporters are gay. So the expectation that athletes can get undressed in a gay-free zone is not realistic.

  48. Rich says

    I make no excuses for Culliver. His management needs to prepare players for dealing with the press before they say things like Culliver did.

    I’m not sure what the remedies people are suggesting will accomplish. Suspending Culliver will perhaps demonstrate the sincerity of management, but to ask them to do that days before the Super Bowl is unreasonable unless they have someone else equally skilled to replace him in this game. Suspend him for part of next year.

    Punishment may teach Culliver discretion, but what I really want is to change his heart and mind. That would take someone he cares about coming out to him.

  49. Globby says

    I’m honestly disgusted by this mentality some americans have, sure this guy isn’t in the right, but to suspend him because he doesn’t agree with homosexuality? now that’s the definition of descrimination, let’s suspend and kill 90% of the world for that matter, seriously, our society will never progress.

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