49ers CB Culliver sorry for anti-gay comments
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.
"Nah. Can't be ... in the locker room, nah," he said. "You've gotta come out 10 years later after that."
The 24-year-old Culliver, a third-round draft pick in 2011 out of South Carolina, made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble this season while starting six games for the NFC champion Niners (13-4-1).
He had his first career postseason interception in San Francisco's 28-24 win at Atlanta for the NFC title.
The 49ers participate in the NFL's "It Gets Better" anti-bullying campaign. The city of San Francisco and progressive, open-minded Bay Area are home to a large gay community.
Three organizations working for LGBT inclusion in sports — Athlete Ally, You Can Play, and GLAAD — reacted to Culliver's remarks and later acknowledged his apology.
"Chris Culliver's comments were disrespectful, discriminatory and dangerous, particularly for the young people who look up to him," said Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor. "His words underscore the importance of the athlete ally movement and the key role that professional athletes play in shaping an athletic climate that affirms and includes gay and lesbian players. Culliver's current views are as marginal as they are misguided. We're seeing more and more NFL players take a stand against homophobia in sports through our advocacy and we know that support at this level is only going to grow. It is becoming clear that discrimination is on the fringe and has absolutely no place in sports."
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