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Former San Francisco 49er and openly gay football player Kwame Harris has responded to Chris Culliver's comments on gays in the NFL.
"It’s surprising that in 2013 Chris Culliver would use his 15 minutes to spread vitriol and hate. I recognize that these are comments that he may come to regret and that he may come to see that gay people are not so different than straight people," Harris told NBC Bay Area.
Harris was outed as a gay man just this week. He was charged with assaulting a former boyfriend last summer outside a Menlo Park restaurant, and the charge became public after a recent court appearance.
Culliver's comments, in which the 49er suggested that gay players would not be welcome in the 49ers' locker room, came during an interview with shock jock radio host Artie Lange on Super Bowl Media Day Tuesday.
"I don't do the gay guys, man," Culliver told Lange. "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."
By 8:30 p.m. ET, Culliver released a statement apologizing for what he said.
"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel. 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 apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience,” Culliver's statement read.
The 49ers issued a statement as well, saying the team rejects Culliver's comments.
"The San Francisco 49ers reject the comments that were made yesterday, and have addressed the matter with Chris. There is no place for discrimination within our organization at any level. We have and always will proudly support the LGBT community,” the statement read.