NEW ORLEANS – San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Wednesday night for anti-gay remarks he made during a Super Bowl media day interview a day earlier.
“The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” he said in a statement released by the team. “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.”
The 49ers said earlier Wednesday they had addressed the comments, but didn’t elaborate on whether the second-year player would face disciplinary action or a fine.
During an interview Tuesday at the Superdome, Culliver responded to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players should leave.
“The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris,” the team said.
Culliver planned to formally address his remarks during a news conference today, according to his personal public relations representative, Theodore Palmer.
The interview Tuesday began with Lange asking Culliver about his sexual plans with women during Super Bowl week. Lange followed up with a question about whether Culliver would consider pursuing a gay man.
“I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that,” Culliver said during the 1-minute taped interview. “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.”
Lange asked Culliver to reiterate his thoughts, to which the player said, “It’s true.” He added he wouldn’t welcome a gay teammate – no matter how talented.
Williams questions lack of sanctions: Kyle Williams can’t believe the New York Giants weren’t punished by the NFL for targeting him in last year’s NFC Championship game.
The punt returner whose mistakes cost the 49ers a chance to make the last Super Bowl, and who will miss Sunday’s game against Baltimore with an injured left knee, said Wednesday he is “shocked” that the Giants escaped discipline.
“The only thing crazy to me was that nothing came of it after they came down so much on the Saints,” Williams said.
“The league announced the bounties and that (former Saints defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams said the same things the Giants were saying. They took it to the highest level they could with the Saints. But it seemed like the league decided it was no big deal what the Giants said.”
What Giants special teamers Jacquian Williams and Devin Thomas said after New York’s 20-17 overtime victory sounded similar to what the Saints were sanctioned for.
“The thing is, we knew he had four concussions, so that was our biggest thing was to take him out of the game,” said Jacquian Williams.
Sandy Hook students to perform: The chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School will sing “America the Beautiful” before Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The chorus features 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed in a Dec. 14 shooting rampage.
The performance will be part of CBS’s pre-game show, and will be broadcast live. Alicia Keys will sing the national anthem.