Chris Culliver | NFL | Sports

NFLer Terrell Suggs: 'We Don’t Really Care Too Much About A Player’s Sexuality'

TsuggsEarlier this week, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was vocal about his feeling that he does not welcome gays in the NFL or the locker room. He later issued a statement and said he was "apologetic."

One of Culliver's opponents during this Sunday's Super Bowl has a far more enlightened stance. Pro Football Talks asked Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs if he would have an issue with having a gay teammate. His response? “Absolutely not.”

Suggs went on to say:

“On this team, with so many different personalities, we just accept people for who they are and we don’t really care too much about a player’s sexuality. To each their own. You know who you are, and we accept you for it.”

Meanwhile, The Trevor Project announced today that Culliver will work on the organization's educational training program. Their press release reads in part: "It is with this concept in mind that Chris has unilaterally reached out to The Trevor Project to seek guidance and education about the LGBTQ community through The Trevor Project's renowned Trevor Lifeguard Workshop LGBTQ Training Program."

Read the full release, AFTER THE JUMP

San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver to Commence LGBT Educational Training Program with The Trevor Project

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chris Culliver, cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, recently made hurtful, hateful, homophobic comments about gay athletes playing in the NFL. Chris immediately issued both a written and publicly communicated apology for his remarks; however, Chris recognizes these apologies neither excuse his statements nor sufficiently convey Chris' remorse for the situation he created, and the people he offended. Regardless of what has been and what undoubtedly will be said about Culliver's comments and his subsequent mea culpa, the simple fact remains: action expresses priorities. It is with this concept in mind that Chris has unilaterally reached out to The Trevor Project to seek guidance and education about the LGBTQ community through The Trevor Project's renowned Trevor Lifeguard Workshop LGBTQ Training Program.

Rather than attempt to downplay the severity of the issue at hand, or shy from the situation in the interests of mitigating damage to his reputation, Chris intends to embrace this ordeal as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. The Trevor Project is the nation's leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people, ages 13-24. The Trevor Project, however, is not only a resource for LGBTQ youth in crisis, but also for the adults who care about the LGBTQ community. Surprisingly, Chris has gay family members and close friends for whom he cares deeply. Chris's cousin, Andrew Brown is one of the celebrated directors of Word Is Out, the first feature-length documentary about lesbian and gay identity made by gay filmmakers; an iconic film for the emerging gay rights movement in the 1970s. Brown has come forward in support of Chris and his efforts to educate himself about the true impact of his commentary.

The Trevor Project offers age-appropriate education programs to help people of all ages learn more about the unique challenges faced by youth who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, and those who question their sexual orientation, gender identity. Lauren McGinnis, Communications Director for The Trevor Project, expressed the following sentiment: "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." The Trevor Project in no way condones, accepts, or attempts to validate Chris' comments; however, The Trevor Project looks forward to working to help Chris become a better role model for his fans and the general public. Both Chris and The Trevor Project recognize it will be a long road to genuine understanding, but both are eager to use this experience as an opportunity to take steps towards eradicating this type of ignorance in the NFL and in society as a whole.

In Chris' own words, "As an African American male, I should know better. Hate and discrimination have a lasting effect, and words 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."

In the weeks immediately following Super Bowl XLVII, Chris will be working with The Trevor Project staff and volunteers to learn about the risks that LGBTQ youth face and how Chris can do his part to reduce those risks. The Trevor Project has partnered with other notable athletes and celebrities, such as Shaquille O'Neil, Lady Gaga, Daniel Radcliffe, and Queen Latifa, among others, to help disseminate tolerance and understanding for the LGBTQ community. The Trevor Project is thus the perfect organization to educate Chris about how to use his celebrity status to empower youth to know that they have value and deserve a chance to live and be who they dream to be, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Chris, like the rest of the resilient 49ers, believes the true content of one's character is revealed in times of adversity. As such, Chris is determined not to hide from this crisis, but rather to take the actions necessary to make it right.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Theodore Palmer – Publicist – Creative Edge Public Relations – (646) 575-2967 – TPalmer@creativeedgepr.com

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Comments

  1. @Dude

    So why are some of them busy very publicly distancing themselves from anti-bullying work they have done in light of the fact that it was pro-gay rights? If they have to be silent about their support, why wouldn't they have to be silent about their opposition? Your argument doesn't make sense to me in light of this fact.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 2, 2013 2:38:39 PM


  2. THEY WERE TOLD TO SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: DUDE | Feb 2, 2013 2:40:35 PM


  3. They are not distancing themselves...you are making that up.

    Posted by: DUDE | Feb 2, 2013 2:43:07 PM


  4. hey, Nullnaught, feel free to provide the URL to your own page or video where you show all the incredible pro-Equality work you're doing as an individual.

    what's that? you can't because you're a troll who uses various screennames and can't put a face to your comments?

    well well well, what a complete and utter surprise.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 2, 2013 2:47:32 PM


  5. @dude

    from "Towleroad Talking Points..." earlier today "Meanwhile gay-related controversy continues to swirl around the San Francisco 49ers as the two players who appeared in an "It Gets Better" video seem to be trying to distance themselves fromit because they didn't know it had to do with gay kids." You are not in command of the facts. Again, why are these two players oh so publicly distancing themselves if they have been told to 'shut up?'

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 2, 2013 3:13:50 PM


  6. why are you refusing to show your own contributions to LGBT Equality movements, Nully? :-)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 2, 2013 3:15:47 PM


  7. NullNaught: Maybe he knows he has a gay teammate but it's not his choice to tell the people he has a gay teammate.

    For a football player come out is very very risky. Maybe the Ravens are really a wellcome locker room, but if you came out, and specially if you came out at a young age, you are going to deal with some players that are not that wellcome, with coaches that can destroy your career and with a good bunch of fans that are more fanatic than supporters.

    Suggs is only saying that his team will be friendly if a team mate come out, nothing more and nothing less.

    And about Culliver. Well, they guy did the apology that everybody does (and only a few really feels) and he seems ready to go a step further and trying to understand what he did wrong.
    He knows for sure that he is not going to be punished for his words, so he has no real obligation to contact with the Trevor project, because he is going to end unpunished anyway. So maybe, he really wants to understand the reaction of his words, and maybe, he want to understand people who doesn't think like him.
    At least he is going further than a lot of offenders who doesn't go beyond the standard apology

    Posted by: jjose712 | Feb 2, 2013 3:20:45 PM


  8. You finally got ONE point right. Sort of. I did not see that story. But to be fair just because they didn't remember being in the video doesn't mean they were distancing per se. Football players/athletes are asked to be in a lot of PSA's. If you ALSO read it, the story also said that MANY players wanted and asked to be in the video but only a few were chosen because they looked intimidating. In other words, the enlightened ones wanted to do it but those two were told to do it. Thus, they came in, read, didn't bother to find out the details, left. Also, the first guy didn't remember, but also said he didn't have a problem with gay people, etc.

    This is exactly why the other players are not talking about this guy's comments, because the media is jumping on them and they want to focus on the SUPERBOWL and not the media firestorm that the other guy caused.They don't want to get sucked in.

    Posted by: DUDE | Feb 2, 2013 3:28:04 PM


  9. WTF is wrong with some of you guys. Be angry at guys like Culliver, but calling guys liars who are actually saying something positive and encouraging is messed up. We are no different than the bigots if we prescribe to the same type of ignorance by labeling all athletes as homophobes or liars. There have been some very open and accepting men who have spoken on our behalf such as Ben Cohen, Chris Kluwe, Brendon Ayanbadejo.

    Posted by: Alex | Feb 2, 2013 3:40:25 PM


  10. You mean to tell me a football player who gets hit in the head every week had trouble remembering one of the many psa's he has done? Clutch my pearls! Fake outrage!

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 2, 2013 3:48:31 PM


  11. @Dude

    Now it isn't 'they were told to shut up.' Instead it is they don't want to get sucked in. Well you just made my point for me. They aren't afraid to distance themselves (Towleroad's words, not mine. If you wish to argue that, argue with Towleroad,not me.) but they are afraid of disagreeing with Culliver. That is how tacit agreement works.

    @JJose712

    Yes, that is my point. If there were an out player, you would know it. That is what 'out' means. That is why he can't name any out players; there are none. If he is not at liberty to speak their name, they are by definition not out. A gay player will never come out because he will never be accepted by his straight teammates and/or the fans. The fans don't want to watch gay players. They make that clear with all the hate letters they send the statistically insignificant number of players who do speak out against homophobia.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 2, 2013 4:36:14 PM


  12. Kudos to another Raven ... Maryland - a state that voted for gay marriage. GO Ravens!

    Posted by: Alan | Feb 2, 2013 4:44:42 PM


  13. How "Out" are you, Nully? :-) Care to prove it?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 2, 2013 4:46:38 PM


  14. The Trevor Project has allowed itself to be used by the SF49ers. It's a game they're playing, both on and off the field.

    Posted by: jason | Feb 2, 2013 5:02:05 PM


  15. I heard Culliver make his original remarks, and somehow I don't believe these are "Chris's own words". Nor do I believe that he "reached out" to the Trevor Project. I do believe, however, that he got a can of 49ers brand HumanResources/PublicRelations whup-ass slammed upside his thick skull, and that he's goin' along to get along. Second-string DBs are a dime a dozen.

    @Nullnaught: You're right. And they won't watch Black quarterbacks either. Or even a half-breed like Kaepernick. Right? ....Right?

    Posted by: Right? | Feb 2, 2013 5:02:29 PM


  16. Players don't have to come out just because you want them to. It's none of your business.

    Posted by: jason | Feb 2, 2013 5:09:14 PM


  17. I don't believe they are his own words either - the grammar is too good given how he spoke in the video. At a minimum, someone provided a "King's English" translation of his actual words.

    In the video that got him into trouble, he seemed to have been set up. The interviewer started by asking him if he was getting any "white girls", and then asked him about other players hitting on him. That set a context where he'd react as if there was some bantering going on in a locker room that wasn't meant to be taken seriously. It is not like he's the smartest guy in the room. Meanwhile, to avoid being criticized as well, the interviewer stated that he was joking and being a wise guy in the video, so what the interviewer said would not be taken seriously, thus letting all the blame fall on the football player.

    My guess: the 49ers "how to deal with the media" training sessions for their players will now include a session on how to avoid being tricked in that way.

    After that disaster, the other players' poor memories are understandable: they are reacting like "Sargent Schultz" in an old TV series whose standard line was "I see nothing, absolutely nothing."

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 2, 2013 5:56:43 PM


  18. @OS2Guy

    then stop going after the nfl and hit the universities that serve as recruiting centers, giving these players (modern day slaves) a free financial ride to play for their school, setting the groundwork for bigotry, bypassing any of the redeeming factors of the college experience, selling them off for the slim possibility they may join a national league.

    Posted by: Satyr Troll | Feb 2, 2013 6:57:06 PM


  19. @right?

    No, the race/sexual orientation analogy fails. Race isn't as tied up with the image as sex is. Stupid people are over-awed by image, and people who watch sports are very very stupid. Women's sports is a much better analogy. Know any male jocks who want to watch women's sports? You see, women and gay men don't fit the male jock's image of himself. He can't relate. He won't watch them ever.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Feb 2, 2013 7:10:13 PM


  20. It is good to see a black man come out and support gays seeing how his people are being used by NOM, The National Organization for Marriage to make trouble for LGBT people.

    Posted by: Nome | Feb 2, 2013 8:49:54 PM


  21. It's NullNaught's way or the highway. Everyting is black or white with him, no grey areas. Everybody else's opinions are wrong. What an obnoxious little man. What a sad world he lives in.

    Posted by: BETTY | Feb 2, 2013 10:05:44 PM


  22. I didn't realize this bigot spoke for the ENTIRE NFL???

    Oh wait, you don't.

    Posted by: mmike1969 | Feb 3, 2013 7:49:58 PM


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