Latest Super Bowl storyline: 49ers’ Chris Culliver’s anti-gay comments
BY SEAN JENSEN Twitter: @SeanKJensen January 31, 2013 11:28AM
Do you think the NFL should suspend Chris Culliver for his anti-gay remarks?
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Updated: January 31, 2013 6:29PM
NEW ORLEANS – San Francisco 49ers receiver Randy Moss doesn’t know exactly what teammate Chris Culliver said about the prospect of a gay player in the NFL, but he clearly disagrees with the young backup cornerback.
“I really didn’t know what was said,” Moss said. “I knew it had to do with homosexuality.
“We’re all human, so it’s not fair to sit there and judge a man or woman on their sexual preference. That’s just not right.”
Culliver was surrounded by more reporters than any of his star teammates Thursday, as he attempted to minimize the damage of one of the biggest controversies of this Super Bowl after suggesting to radio host Artie Lange that gay players would not be accepted in his team’s locker room.
“I was really not thinking. Or, something I thought, but not something that I feel in my heart,” Culliver said. “I’m not trying to bring any distraction to the team.”
Whether he intended to or not, Culliver has become a distraction. An editor for the Huffington Post called for the NFL to suspend Culliver for his comments.
“Hopefully, he’s doing a great job of facing up to all the media. It might not be something he’s used to but now he has to step up and be a man about it,” Moss said.
“We reject what he said,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “That’s not something that reflects the way the organization feels, the way most of the players feel.”
“I think it’s going to impact him going forward. I think it’s something that he will learn about himself. You saw his statement; he pledged to grow from it. It will affect him. Hope and pray that it affects him in a positive way going forward.”
Moss, for one, was candid and provided well-rounded insight on the issue.
“Being a homosexual, that’s just your sexual preference. That doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. I don’t really judge people. Being in the locker room, being outside the locker room, we’re all human,” he said.
Asked if the NFL is ready for an openly gay player, Moss said, “I don’t really know if they’d be ready for it.
“All these men being in the locker room, some are straight, some are not. It would probably be a problem. But once we get through that first year or two, it would all smooth over. I really do.”
Moss also suggested that there could already be gay players on NFL rosters.
“You see guys and see how they react and how they go about their day and you sometimes wonder. But it’s not my position or your position to call them out or to make them look bad or make fun of them,” he said. “Like I said, we’re all human. God made us all, and if that’s what you choose to do, that’s what you choose to do. I don’t think we should tear a man’s head off or a woman’s head off on their sexual preference.”
Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who has been an outspoken advocate for same-sex marriages, had this initial reaction Culliver’s remarks: “You can’t fight hate with hate. You have to fight hate with love.”
Ayanbadejo went on to address how he handles anti-gay people.
“If they’re around me they know, you can’t say ‘gay’ in a derogatory manner,” he said. “You can’t say the three-letter f-word. I tell them, you can’t say those things. If people hear you say those things, regardless of if you mean them or not, they’re going to fry you. And if it’s in a public arena, you’re whole reputation is going to be roasted for it. So we’ve kind of seen it happen this time. We just have to all learn what happened from this mistake.
“He apologized and hopefully he’ll learn. And he’s in the Bay Area so it’s really important there. It’s pertinent there. So I think he’s going to learn, he’s going to grow and he’s going to be a better person for it.”