From Comcast SportsNetNEW ORLEANS (AP) -- San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver apologized Thursday for anti-gay comments he made to a comedian during Super Bowl media day, saying "that's not what I feel in my heart.""I'm sorry if I offended anyone. They were very ugly comments," Culliver said during an hour-long media session. "Hopefully I learn and grow from this experience and this situation."He said he would welcome a gay teammate to the 49ers, a reversal of his remarks to Artie Lange two days earlier during an interview at the Superdome."I treat everyone equal," Culliver said. "That's not how I feel."He added that he realized his comments were especially offensive to many people in San Francisco and the Bay Area, which is home to a large gay community."I love San Francisco," Culliver said.During the interview with Lange, Culliver responded to questions by saying he wouldn't welcome a gay player in the locker room. He also said the 49ers didn't have any gay players, and if they did those players should leave.San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh met privately with Culliver to discuss the remarks."I reject what he said," Harbaugh said. "That's not something that reflects the way the organization feels, the way the rest of the players feel."The coach would not discuss if Culliver would face discipline from the team, such as a fine or loss of playing time."He pledged to grow from it," Harbaugh said.The interview 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 one-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."Lange asked Culliver to reiterate his thoughts, to which the player said, "It's true." He added he wouldn't welcome a gay teammate -- no matter how talented."Nah. Can't be ... in the locker room, nah," he said. "You've gotta come out 10 years later after that."The 24-year-old Culliver, a third-round draft pick in 2011 out of South Carolina, made 47 tackles with two interceptions and a forced fumble this season while starting six games for the NFC champion Niners (13-4-1).He had his first career postseason interception in San Francisco's 28-24 win at Atlanta for the NFC title, which sent the 49ers to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995. They will face the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.The 49ers participate in the NFL's "It Gets Better" anti-bullying campaign. Three organizations working for LGBT inclusion in sports -- Athlete Ally, You Can Play, and GLAAD -- reacted to Culliver's remarks and later acknowledged his apology."Chris Culliver's comments were disrespectful, discriminatory and dangerous, particularly for the young people who look up to him," said Athlete Ally Executive Director Hudson Taylor. "His words underscore the importance of the athlete ally movement and the key role that professional athletes play in shaping an athletic climate that affirms and includes gay and lesbian players."Calling Lange's questions "real disrespectful," Culliver said he realized he was speaking to a comedian and not a journalist."That was pretty much in a joking manner," the player said. "It's nothing about how I feel."Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, who made headlines this season with his vocal support of a gay-marriage initiative in Maryland, said Culliver's comments to Lange were reflective of how many players in the NFL feel, even if they don't express it publicly. He hopes the 49ers cornerback will learn from this experience and become a positive role model in the quest for equality."You can't fight hate with hate," Ayanbadejo said. "You've got to fight hate with love."Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard said Culliver should be allowed to express his views, even if some people found them offensive."The guy's entitled to his own opinion," said Pollard, who has acknowledged that he disagrees with Ayanbadejo's stand on gay marriage. "I'm not going to sit here and knock him. I'm not going to sit here and judge him. It's freedom of speech. If you don't like it, don't listen to it."
With the NBA trade deadline in the rear view mirror, the Celtics will have to turn to the buyout market if they are looking to make changes to their roster.
Talking to CSN Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely, Danny Ainge explained why signing players who have been bought out can be a risky move for a team like the Celtics.
“We’ll weigh each guy that comes on the market and see if that can be a boost to our team,” explained Ainge. “At the same time, I like our team. Bringing in new players sometimes messes up your whole chemistry, and it shifts somebody into a different role that they’re not accustomed to doing. You better know what you’re getting.
“We brought in Michael Finley, Sam Cassell. . . PJ Brown turned out to be a very good asset to us. Most of the time it sort of disrupts things. At the end of the year you go, ‘wow, we probably shouldn’t have done that.’ Even though on paper it looked like a great acquisition, it wasn’t as good as everyone thought it would be.”
BOSTON -- Isaiah Thomas has been a major draw on the floor most of this season which is what you expect from a 5-foot-9 guard who is a two-time All-Star.
And while his game is usually what sets him apart, it was a pair of social media messages that sent the NBA world abuzz with what many thought was a coded message regarding a Boston Celtics trade.
As it turned out, the Celtics decided to stand pat at the trade deadline with a roster that’s getting healthier. But that didn’t address what many were wondering.
What was up with those emoji eyeballs, something Thomas had not tweeted since last summer around the time Boston landed Al Horford.
Thomas wasn’t trying to pass along any free agent clue or anything of the like, he said.
“I was watching a TV show,” Thomas said.
He also posted one of an hour glass.
“Time is ticking man,” Thomas said.
Thomas had no idea that what he thought was a seemingly harmless tweet, would generate so much attention and speculation afterwards about the Celtics who were once again square and center in the trade rumor mill.
“I didn’t (know) until I did it and then I realized the whole world was talking,” said Thomas, grinning after the team’s first practice following the all-star break on Wednesday. “I didn’t mean to shake the internet like that. I didn’t mean to do that to y’all.”