Urge NFL to Suspend Player After Homophobic Statements

Target: San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and General Manager Trent Baalke

Goal: To suspend player Chris Culliver after his derogatory homophobic statements and require him to participate in activities of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network in San Francisco.

Days before the upcoming Super Bowl, NFL football player Chris Culliver recently made homophobic statements during a radio interview. Culliver, a cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, made it abundantly clear that he would not accept gay players on the team by saying, “I don’t do the gay guys, man.” He also claimed that there are no gay players on the 49ers, but if there were, “They gotta get up out of here.” When asked if gay players should come out or not, Culliver said they should wait until “10 years” after their retirement. Culliver’s statements are not only clearly derogatory towards the LGBTQ community, but they are also quite dangerous and serve to perpetuate a cycle of homophobic bigotry within the NFL and larger society.

A few days after making the discriminatory statements, Culliver issued a predictably forced apology saying that his comments “were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel.” Culliver seems unaware of the impact of his words, particularly for young people who admire professional football players. By stating outright that gay players would not be welcome in the NFL, he is not only forcing his fellow players to stay in the closet, he is also setting an example for hundreds of college and high school teams across the country that makes it seem okay to discriminate against gay players. Culliver is perpetuating the bullying culture that has been running rampant throughout the Internet and the nation’s schools, resulting in depression, suicide, and other self-destructive behavior. His statements paint a dangerous and depressing picture in which shame and denial are the only options for LGBTQ youth.

Culliver’s weak apology is not enough to disregard his derogatory comments. Sign the petition below to demand that the 49ers follow through with their rejection of Culliver’s statements by formally suspending him and requiring him to volunteer with the Gay-Straight Alliance Network in San Francisco so that he may learn about the damaging effects homophobia has on young people.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear Mr. York and Mr. Baalke,

Chris Culliver’s recent homophobic statements are simply unacceptable. His comments are not only derogatory towards the LGBTQ community, but they are also quite dangerous and serve to perpetuate a cycle of homophobic bigotry within the NFL and larger society.

By stating outright that gay players would not be welcome in the NFL, Culliver is not only forcing his fellow players to stay in the closet, he is also setting an example for hundreds of college and high school football teams across the country that makes it seem okay to discriminate against gay players. He is perpetuating the bullying culture that has been running rampant throughout the Internet and the nation’s schools, resulting in depression, suicide, and other self-destructive behavior. His statements paint a dangerous and depressing picture in which shame and denial are the only options for LGBTQ youth.

Culliver’s forced weak apology is not enough to disregard his derogatory comments, and the 49ers’ public rejection of his comments is not enough to promote real, positive change within the NFL and football culture. We request that Culliver face suspension from the team and be required to participate in the activities of San Francisco’s division of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. Through his participation in the youth group, Culliver will have the opportunity to witness the ways in which homophobic statements can be destructive to the lives of young people.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: ifindkarma via Flickr

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