NEW ORLEANS — San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver will begin sensitivity training and education immediately after the Super Bowl following his anti-gay remarks this week, then start volunteer work with at-risk homosexual youth nationwide.
Culliver is scheduled to begin working with “The Trevor Project,” an organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, according to his public relations representative, Theodore Palmer.
“He’s so passionate about youth and people being comfortable with who they are and accepted by all,” Palmer said Saturday. “He’s excited to learn. The plan is with The Trevor Project, and their concerns are that he is genuine about his words.”
Palmer said Culliver, who played at South Carolina, will spend time volunteering at a crisis center in San Francisco.
“It’s just an opportunity for him to learn about his comments and educate himself about the LGBT community, and grow,” Palmer said. “It’s the first step in learning about his words.”
During Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day at the Superdome, the second-year defender responded to questions from comedian Artie Lange by saying he wouldn’t welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn’t have any homosexual players and, if they did, those players should leave. He later apologized, facing a large group of media members for nearly an hour Thursday.
He realizes some will still question his sincerity.
“I hope people understand because it’s coming directly from me and I’m talking to the whole world,” Culliver said. “It is not (how I feel) in my heart.”
The 49ers released a statement saying they rejected Culliver’s comments, and CEO Jed York vowed to take a leadership role with the LGBT community and groups back home in the Bay Area – including taking Culliver around himself, he said.
The interview Tuesday began with Lange asking Culliver about his sexual plans with women during Super Bowl week. Lange followed up with a question about whether Culliver would consider pursuing a gay man.
“I don’t do the gay guys, man. I don’t do that,” Culliver said during the 1-minute taped interview. “Ain’t got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff.”
When the interview became big news Wednesday, Culliver said he met for more than an hour with general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh, and also spoke with teammates.
“You’ve got to be very careful what you say,” Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice said of Super Bowl week. “I’m sure he regrets making those remarks.”
Culliver, 24, a third-round draft pick in 2011, made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble this season while starting six games for the Niners.
He had his first career postseason interception in San Francisco’s 28-24 win at Atlanta for the NFC title.