Super Bowl 2013: 49ers CB Chris Culliver says he would not welcome a gay teammate

Ezra Shaw

San Francisco's defensive back told a radio host that he did not want to play with a gay teammate.

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver told radio host Artie Lang at Tuesday's Super Bowl media day that gay teammates would not be welcome in his locker room.

The comments came in response to a question from Lang about whether or not there were any gay players in the NFL. This was Culliver's response:

"I don't do the gay guys man. I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff."

Lang followed up by asking Culliver whether it mattered if a gay player could play well. Culliver doubled down on his remarks:

"Nah...can't be...in the locker room man. Nah."

The 49ers cornerback went on to suggest that any gay players could come out "10 years later" after they had stopped playing.

The 49ers released a statement in response to Culliver's remarks on Wednesday afternoon that read:

"The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris. There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community.

Culliver's remarks come at a time of heightened awareness around the issue of gay players in the NFL. There has never been an openly gay player in the NFL. However, several former players have acknowledged their sexuality since their playing days.

In June 2012, Out Sports and Amy K. Nelson from SB Nation talked to former New York Giants player Wade Davis, who recounted his experiences from his playing days and the process of coming out. Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote about his efforts to raise awareness of discrimination against the gay and lesbian community in December.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, another player in New Orleans for the Super Bowl, publicly advocated for a 2012 Maryland ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage. His teammate Matt Birk openly opposed the measure, which ultimately passed.

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