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Chris Culliver, the San Francisco 49ers player who made headlines over his anti-gay remarks has given both an apology and explanation. According to Culliver he’s not homophobic and was merely held hostage by the voices in his head.

“The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of the thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel,” he claimed. “It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologized to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.”

But Culliver’s swift apology may not kill all fodder calling for him not to face disciplinary action.

HuffPost Gay Voices editor-at-large, Michelangelo Signorile, penned an editorial explaining why the cornerback should be suspended, calling Culliver’s apology “ridiculously weak.”

Citing an incident in which another player was punished over comments made about team bosses, Signorile believes that Culliver must feel some repercussions for his words. “This cannot stand,” he wrote. “The 49ers and the NFL need to take action and send a strong message. John Aravosis at Americablog points out that the 49ers suspended running back Brandon Jacobs just last month for making derogatory comments about his bosses. Are the team management saying they take it seriously when they, themselves, are insulted, but not when closeted gay players and gay fans are treated to bigoted, offensive remarks?

“If there is no suspension, the message from the NFL to young people, amid continued reports of suicide by LGBT youth who experienced bullying, is that it’s okay for sports players and everyone else to attack gays and demand they stay closeted and living in shame. If there are no repercussions, the NFL’s words about support and acceptance of gay athletes and fans are completely empty.”

The 49ers have since issued a statement condemning Culiiver’s remarks. As it stands, he will still be allowed to play this Sunday.


Photo: Paul Connors /AP