After a series of anti-gay remarks made by San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver had caused him to issue an apology and cast a cloud over the proud 49ers franchise, the anti-gay issue is still an issue front and center in NOLA leading up to the game. In fact, there is now another anti-gay issue. 49ers players who have previously pledged support for gay rights are denying they’ve done so.
San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, both of whom participated in the team’s widely-praised “It Gets Better” video last summer, have denied ever producing the clip. The two players told USA Today that they didn’t realize the video’s aim was to specifically combat bullying experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teens.
“This is America and if someone wants to be gay, they can be gay,” Brooks said. “But I didn’t make any video.” Later, after he was reportedly shown the video on an iPhone, the player clarified, “Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay [rights] video.” Sopoaga denied taking part in the clip at all even as a teammate reportedly tried to remind him of his participation. “I never went,” he declared. “And now someone is using my name.”
Even though team officials have released a statement saying they “proudly support the LGBT community,” LGBT rights advocate and “It Gets Better” project founder Dan Savage has responded to Brooks’ and Sopoaga’s claims by removing the 49ers video from his site. Meanwhile, the controversy over Culliver’s statements (he told Artie Lange that he “don’t do the gay guys, man” and that an openly gay player would not be welcome on his football team) continues to be a problem and a petition has been launched asking the NFL to send Culliver to spend a day with the New York Gay Football League (no joke).
Ironically, this whole gay-rights problem arose on the heels of news that former 49ers offensive tackle Kwame Harris was in court on charges that he assaulted an ex-boyfriend (again, no joke).
How is it possible that of all cities to have an anti-gay issue it occurs in San Francisco?