San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver Visits The Trevor Project as Follow-Up to Apology for Anti-Gay Remarks: PHOTO

Culliver

San Francisco 49er cornerback Chris Culliver, who made headlines in the days leading up to the Super Bowl when he told radio host Artie Lange that gays were not welcome in the locker room or the NFL, tweeted a photo this afternoon from the offices of The Trevor Project, the leading suicide resource and hotline for LGBTQ youth.

Wrote Culliver, who appears to be getting educated on the topic: "Great time at LGBTQ the Q is for (question)"

The visit is a follow-up on a promise Culliver made along with his apology, that he would be attending an educational training program at the organization to learn about the difficulties faced by youth who bear the brunt of anti-gay remarks, bullying, and rejection from society.

Said Culliver last month:

"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."

Comments

  1. Ryan says

    Okay, that sounds like a real and sincere apology, beyond the crappy ‘I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt’ BS that most people try when they really step in it.

    I guess that makes me feel a little less guilty for thinking he’s totally hot…

    Though I’ll always quote Ronald Reagan on this and only this: Trust, but verify.

  2. Ryan says

    Okay, that sounds like a real and sincere apology, beyond the crappy ‘I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt’ BS that most people try when they really step in it.

    I guess that makes me feel a little less guilty for thinking he’s totally hot…

    Though I’ll always quote Ronald Reagan on this and only this: Trust, but verify.

  3. says

    God did not put you through a storm; you did.

    How much better things would be if he engaged his brain before opening his mouth.

    Now loudly say that gay footballers should come out and be properly treated and that a football locker room is no place for phobes.

    Make it work Chris.

  4. says

    this is more than most folks in similar situations have done.

    and here’s the reality – a lot of homophobia is really homo-*ignorance*.

    cheers to his progression, and another in hopes it inspires similar progressions in others.

  5. jR says

    Yes, he said something stupid and ignorant. Yes, someone probably helped him craft that apology.

    But kudos for him for having the balls to show up at the Trevor Project and at least make an effort. He could have just released the statement.

    If he wouldn’t have gone, we would have criticized him for that too. Let’s try to be a lil’ optimistic.

  6. CHAD says

    Everyone’s apologies are always written by someone else…a PR agency, manager, etc. At least whoever wrote his finally got it right–i.e., no “*if* I offended someone” or “sorry to those I offended (and no one else?)”. The apology takes responsibility for his wrongs. We can just hope that he really knows he was wrong and truly wants to make amends. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, what hope is there if we don’t believe that people’s opinions can evolve?

  7. Thomas says

    It doesn’t matter so much if he sincerely changes his point of view. I imagine those kinds of changes take quite a long time. At least his story has set an example about what is okay and what is not okay, and I think that will be more meaningful to gay youth.

    As a teenager I remember a classmate saying that “f*gs were dirty” in a class discussion about AIDS, and his apology to the class meant less than the fact that he was made to give one.

  8. Scott Johansen says

    The commentators are overlook one very, very significant point here. The narrative isn’t this picture…the narrative in this story is how truly effective it is when our community becomes galvanized and combats homophobia. How when we challenge, and call out, then educate homophobic view points is how we truly create a mental shift.

    15 years ago, this man’s comments would have gone overlooked. 15 years ago, some 70% of Americans were against full LGBT equal rights. Today, homophobia by public figures is addressed, challenged, and those public figures responsible are requested to evaluate their homophobia. And today, a majority of Americans are for full LGBT rights/marriage. Those things go hand in hand……and they matter.

    Don’t ever let yourself forget that.

  9. L.C says

    Scott Johansen-
    I agree. And I remember there were a few trolls on here who were saying it’s silly to be mad at him for his comments because they won’t make a difference. When in reality, speaking up and speaking our for our respect goes hand in hand with attaining our rights. When people are forced to confront their bigotry; they go inward, and get exposure. All demographics have realized that, and today, the gay community asks those who battle with homophobia to confront their prejudice. But it starts with calling the prson out. Not being complacent and kicking rocks.

  10. Okie Lion says

    I know from my own family that when you hold homophobes accountable, they are more motivated to change their tune. If they see you’re genuinly concerned over their hurtful comments, and ask them to stop, and then explain why you think they should not be so narrow minded—-they’ll usually get it, and really evolve. I know this from my own cousins, and even older uncles. It’s when they have no one to correct their bigotry where it gets complicated. I think each and every one of us gays, lesbians, bisexuals have an opportunity to help the minds of those around us grow.

  11. Seattle Mike says

    I’m glad to see him do this, regardless of his private motivations. We’ve made progress whether he’s doing this because it’s genuine or because he’ll get in trouble for not doing it.

  12. matt says

    I’ve read a bit about Chris Culliver. I think he made stupid comments he doesn’t actually believe and that we should welcome his contrition and, ultimately, forgive him.

  13. matt says

    I’ve read a bit about Chris Culliver. I think he made stupid comments he doesn’t actually believe and that we should welcome his contrition and, ultimately, forgive him.

  14. zeddy says

    This is huge. PR or not, I can’t imagine that he stays with his previous attitudes after visiting Trevor Project. And the fact that people have to do something like this is pretty amazing. Even 5 years ago this would have never happened. Too bad countries outside the USA (like Poland or Russia) don’t have strong pro-gay lobbying groups to make people like Lech Welesa see their errors.

  15. Karma says

    If someone else wrote the apology so what??
    Do any of you think celebrities, politicians write their own speeches, apologies??? well, they don’t. ps. There’s no Santa either.

  16. dixichuk says

    It doesn’t matter who wrote the words. He said them. It is the official statement – the public statement that chips away at misguided legacies. It’s a process. There is no magic pill that is going to come along and poof! – make the remaining 50% of our own neighbors think “Oh, they aren’t perverted dog f**kers afterall”. For so many of you, what would be good enough?? Why should they bother to apologize at all?

  17. Michael says

    Give me a flying flipping break. Could this not be a bigger insult to the LGBT community?

    Here’s what he originally said:

    “Ain’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff,”

    He has NO grasp on the basic concept nor understanding of proper grammar and all of a sudden he comes out with a statement that is composed of perfect English?

    Can we for once NOT forgive people? Sure, I understand if you’re in the middle of a heated moment and you reference someone via the f-word but this was hardly some heat of the moment comment. His PR team is trying their hardest to do damage control and I, for one, am sick of allowing some obvious, ignorant homophobe, who can’t deal with his own queerness, get off scott free.

  18. Bill says

    First, it was obviously written by someone else. To quote a musical, “Her English is too good, he said, which clearly indicates that she is foreign. While others are instructed in their native language, English people aren’t.”

    Literary quotes aside, if you look at the original video, it is apparent that Chris Culliver was set up. The interviewer first asked him about the “ladies” and got him into “locker room banter” mode. It’s possible that the way he expresses himself, ungrammatical as it is, includes some level of hyperbole just to make his teammates laugh, as they know he is not being completely serious and that he lacks the sophistication to be outrageous in the way Alan Lerner (following George Bernard Shaw) was. But, say something like that out of context to a reporter, and you are going to end up in a lot of trouble. And he certainly did. I’d image he wasn’t being serious when said that a gay guy shouldn’t come out until 10 years after leaving the team. If you knew he always exaggerated, you might just roll your eyes, but if you hear that out of context, it is going to sound really, really bigoted.

  19. FunMe says

    I’m glad he did this. But the real test is how he acts in the next 1-3 years. Hope he does learn really change.

    Then reporter can ask him his opinion “live” without his PR person. That will be the only way to find out if he really has changed.

  20. Derek L. says

    As another commentator posted…THIS kids is why it’s important to hold homophobia accountable. It leads to change. Or at least action and willingness to change. You can’t expect change when you excuse or ignore the homophobia you witnessed.

  21. IonMovies says

    I’m glad we have people on our side who challenge the societal homophobia which would have gone unnoticed, or been encouraged 20 years ago. We’ve seen too many of our gay kids die in vain to let homophobia be an accepted element of life.
    One love.

  22. Mullin says

    Of course he should have done this. We live in a world where in the town next to ours, a gay child killed himself because of relentless bashing from his fellow teamates on his football team. Having a huge football athlete say he can’t stand being in the professional presence of gay people is DAMAGING, DANGEROUS AND IRRESPONSIBLE, and I’m hopeful with this experience at Trevor Project, this athlete realizes that.
    There’s too much at stake, like actual lives of youth, to just let reckless homophobia by media figures go unnoticed. Not in a world where there should be room for everyone at the table.

  23. Alejandro says

    @ Michael
    I do agree that the gay community has become almost immune toward homophobia, even pronounced homophobia, and we’re almost complacent in accepting any apology from anyone who displays anti gay comments and actions. But I will say, when someone takes actual ACTION, like this man did….then I’m more prone to think they are on the road to bettering their bigotry. Meeting with the Trevor Project, an organization VERY dear to many LGBT people is definetely a good sign.

    I for one don’t accept apologies. I accept action. Apologies mean crap to me at this point, because they are all manufactored. But if you meet with gay youth, or go work with an LGBT organization, or champion a gay rights commitee, then you’re on the right path.

    I do agree that we should require more than just a “woops! sorry gays.”

  24. mike says

    The 49ers should have benched him, just like they would have if someone said something bigoted about an ethnic group or gender. The fact that they didn’t tells you all you need to know. Glad they’re leaving San Francisco.

  25. says

    I think what bothers me most about this whole thing is not Culliver’s original comment, or the possibility that someone else wrote the apology, but the very bitter cynicism that some commenters are expressing about what is an obvious act of contrition. I have to wonder what’s happened to you in your lives that makes you think everyone is lying to you.

    The man made a genuine apology, no dodging, no excuses, and a promise to do better. (And how often does that happen?) It doesn’t matter who wrote it — he obviously wanted to get it right. And he’s following up. What is the problem with that?

  26. jjose712 says

    He didn’t write that apologie for sure, but at least he is going far beyond the usual “if someone was offended”.
    He is not the most educated guy in sports (but i don’t think he is that far from the average), but at least he seems to understand that something was wrong in what he said, and he is doing something to correct it.

    Is it a way to appease the media? Maybe, but others said worse things than him and didn’t do anything at all, simply waited and let the outrage pass.

    I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and maybe it will be something positive of this whole story

  27. MaryM says

    This is a nice PR stunt. Nothing more.

    Is 8 hours at the Trevor Project the ONLY punishment he will face.

    The refusal by his team to hold him accountable speaks volumes.

    He SHOULD have been benched and fined by his team for bringing his sport into disrepute.

    He wasn’t.

    He must be laughing at how easy it is to get away with homophobia.

    The Trevor Project really should not allow themselves to get dragged into these meaningless PR stunts.

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