Over the course of the past few days I've enjoyed watching Super Bowl media day. Reporters have generally done a good job of asking interesting interview questions, especially when it comes to Ray Lewis and his deer antler spray.
Players are well trained and usually give a politically correct answer, yet sometimes they step outside the box and challenge the reporters. Randy Moss proclaiming he is the greatest receiver of all time has to be one of my favorite answers to a loaded question that was asked yesterday.
Do we really expect him to say anything else? We all realize the size of his ego, plus he must be excluding Jerry Rice from the competition when he compares himself against the greatest wide receivers of all time.
Rice's response to Moss' proclamation was simple, yet spot on:
Randy Moss said he's the greatest all-time WR. To which @jerryrice just said, "Put my numbers up against his numbers."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 29, 2013
However, that is a discussion for another day considering debates like those become instantly irrelevant after hearing Chris Culliver's anti-gay comments. If you haven't heard the comments yet, click here to listen. Cam Inman of the Mercury News also transcribed Culliver's quotes from the Artie Lange interview that was posted on Yahoo! Sports:
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. Nah ... can't be ... in the locker room man. Nah.
The second-year cornerback out of South Carolina also went on to suggest that NFL players should keep their sexuality a private matter for at least 10 years after they retire. The interview was only about a minute long, but by that point the damage had already been done.
According to Martin Rogers of Yahoo!, there has never been an openly gay active player in the league.
Regardless, sexuality and its openness in an NFL locker room have come more into focus over the last decade or so.
Which makes Culliver's comments more unacceptable than ever. Sure, it's one thing to think that about homosexuals in your own head, but to say it out loud is complete asinine. Freedom of speech only goes so far because none of the freedoms in the Constitution are absolute.
Additionally, it goes without saying that players have had worse conversations in private. The keyword there is "private." There's a difference between talking amongst your friends and thousands of people who will hear your interview at one of the largest sporting events in the world.
I wish I had more to say, but honestly there isn't much else to say other than he made a dumb comment that he now regrets for making out loud. Culliver's comments go to show that homophobia lives on in the NFL and it probably always will.
Jerome Bettis told the Huffington Post Live, "Because it [NFL] is so testosterone driven, it'd be really difficult for a gay player to stand up and say, 'Hey, I'm gay and I'm an NFL player.' "
Since Culliver's comments have been released to the public, the San Francisco 49ers have formally issued a statement on its stance (via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com):
49ers: "The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris...."— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) January 30, 2013
"...There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community.”— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) January 30, 2013
The are only a few words of advice I have for Culliver: It's not required to answer every question and it doesn't hurt to give a politically correct answer when asked about touchy subjects such as race and sexual preference.