Chris Culliver - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco cornerback, who came under fire for anti-gay comments, says he will make amends
It appears that something good might come from the anti-gay remarks made Super Bowl week by San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver. The Trevor Project, an organization helping LGBTQ youth, announced that Culliver will work with the group after the Super Bowl. Culliver's PR rep Theodore Palmer told the Associated Press:
"He’s so passionate about youth and people being comfortable with who they are and accepted by all," Palmer said. "He’s excited to learn. The plan is with The Trevor Project, and their concerns are that he is genuine about his words."
Palmer said once the education process is done, Culliver could eventually spend time volunteering at a crisis center and in other formats.
"It’s just an opportunity for him to learn about his comments and educate himself about the LGBT community, and grow," Palmer said. "It’s the first step in learning about his words."
Abbe Land, Trevor Project CEO, said:
"The Trevor Project recognizes that what Chris said was harmful, and if not addressed could influence his young and impressionable fans to perpetuate those kinds of harmful remarks among their peers. We are glad that Chris wants to learn and that The Trevor Project can help. We hope others, whether athletes, faith leaders, parents or educators can learn from Chris’s actions, and turn to groups like The Trevor Project when they recognize they have said or done something that can harm a young LGBTQ person."
The way the 49ers have handled Culliver is a template for other organizations. They did not hide from the controversy and made the player face the criticism head on. His education will continue after the game, so we can hope that Culliver will grow and learn from the experience and become an ally.