Two days after his anti-gay comments were made public, San Francisco 49er cornerback Chris Culliver is still trying to explain himself.
Culliver has apologized for saying on a radio show that there is no place for gays in the National Football League. But his written statement saying things like ''It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly' was far more expansive than his comments to the media Thursday (31 January).
A sullen-looking Culliver was asked how he has been feeling over the past 12 hours which has seen him at the center of a storm as his team prepares to play the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on Sunday (3 February).
'Just emotional, that's it,' he said. 'Apologetic.'
Culliver said he is focused on Sunday's game: 'I'm not trying to bring anything trashy ... just trying to win the Super Bowl.'
He said at least three times during the Q&A with reporters that the words he said in an interview with radio shock jock Artie Lange was not something that was in his heart.
What he originally said was: '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.'
He was also asked by Lange if gay athletes needed to keep their sexuality a secret and said: 'Yeah, come out 10 years later after that.'
Culliver was asked the same question Thursday. This time he said: 'I don't know. It's up to that person to do whatever he or she feels.'
It is ironic that Culliver would make anti-gay comments in the first place since his team plays in one of the most gay-centric cities in the US and in the world. Players from the 49ers were also the first to record an anti-gay bullying video for the It Gets Better campaign.
See the team's video from last year: