Baltimore Ravens LB Terrell Suggs sure knows how to get the upper hand.
After San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver made controversial anti-gay comments earlier in the week, Suggs noted that he and his teammates would welcome an openly gay teammate in their locker room.
Per Pro Football Talk, Suggs noted that the Ravens like to stay loose and have fun, not taking into account sexual orientation:
We wouldn’t have a problem with it. We don’t care. Our biggest thing in the locker room is to just have fun and stay loose. We don’t really care too much about that. We’re a football team. I said it yesterday; everybody deserves a certain amount of privacy. Who cares? Whatever a person’s choice is, it’s their choice.
Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh said he didn't think there was any malicious intent in Culliver's comment (h/t SFGate.com), in which he noted that he would not be OK with an openly gay teammate, and Culliver has since backtracked on his comments. He has indicated that he didn't properly think through what he said, and said he views everyone as equal.
The comments made by Suggs were certainly provoked by Culliver's, and it was not only an opportunity to cast the Ravens in a positive light but to also genuinely throw support to the LGBTQ community.
A paradigm shift is occurring in that regard across America, and the remarks Culliver made were particularly shocking considering the Niners' involvement in the "It Gets Better" campaign—though, since Culliver's comments, circumstances have caused a team video to be removed from the campaign's website (via Huffington Post).
The only frame of reference to draw from Baltimore's side on this issue is Brendon Ayanbadejo's support of same-sex marriage.
It made national headlines last season when Maryland House of Delegates representative Emmett C. Burns Jr. (D) wrote the organization a letter. In it, Burns urged owner Steve Bisciotti to prohibit Ayanbadejo or anyone else from expressing their viewpoint on the issue (h/t USA TODAY).
The Ravens publicly stood by Ayanbadejo then, and Suggs' comments further fortify the notion that they preach an atmosphere of acceptance in Baltimore.
Divisive political issues aren't typically a prominent topic leading up to the Super Bowl, but this is a fresh change in a week where many storylines surrounding the game are worn thin.