First of all, I am disappointed that 49er cornerback Culliver chose to make discriminative remarks during a very high profile sporting event which is the Super Bowl week, but MORE disappointed he took the bait from the media to discuss the issue of homosexuality in the NFL. I did not appreciate the fact the media chose to go fishing for incriminatory remarks to publish in the news, finding a naive player to make an inflammatory comment producing locker room friction to what we think is a great chemistry between the players, coaches, and the front office.
Now the 49er front office has isssued a statement "rejecting Culliver's anti-gay comments" and I am wondering how Culliver feels now, does he feel discouraged, is he distracted, and does he feel alienated from the team, especially at a very special moment when the team is in prime time and the center of national attention?
My question is this: Why would a player choose the Super Bowl week to make such an incriminatory comment that potentially can start a media firestorm and invite backlash?
And why would the press feed off a former 49er player Kwame Harris who only came out of the closet by beating up a former lover and tie it to current 49er players who only came to New Orleans to play in the Super Bowl? I know, I know, I knew that the topic would come up anyway, which is why my eyes rolled when I heard about the lovers' spat between the massive former offensive lineman and the lover of lesser stature who ended up being bull rushed by Harris from the Chinese restaurant door.
Bravo, media, mission accomplished. Will the 49er management team deny that the 'rejection' of Culliver's remarks has in fact caused a locker room chemistry hiccup?
My hope is that the entire 49er team including management get over this absurd hiccup that started with Harris getting in the news retrospectively the week of the Super Bowl match-up between the gazelle 49ers and the intense Ravens, we came to New Orleans to win the Super Bowl, not ostracize each other in public through the press, which includes current and former 49er players.
Of course we all know that, but the thing is, Super Bowl teams are required to accept interviews and to honor media requests and attend press conferences, so the time is very ripe for unwanted comments to come out of the woodwork. It can be a time to open cans of worms.
Works for the media, but not for locker room chemistry or for activist groups who tend to sweeten the pot for news readers and radio listeners.
Some in the LGBT community probably will be rooting for the Ravens this weekend, but this is precisely why the 49er management team have to discount Culliver's controversial remarks to save face and keep the entire SF Greater Bay Area behind the team.
This is about the team, and about the community in large, but my message for the media is: back off!
We are human and may say things that don't reflect the team or the community, and that is where we need to exercise good judgement.