Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Suggestion For Chris Culliver

Many people have already heard San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver said during the Super Bowl's Media day that gays are not welcome on his team, or in the National Football League (you can read his quote HERE). Besides saying something utterly hateful and ignorant, he said it in a very inarticulate manner that makes taking him seriously as a person rather difficult. He is doing himself zero favours, especially given that he said something homophobic while he plays on a team from one of the gayest cities in the country...and the world. He is not the first high-profile person to say something stupid of this nature - racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, etc. - nor will he be the last. There is yet another part of this story that has a very good chance of coming to the fore very soon as it has in similar situations of the past: the non-apology.

Generally, when the famous say something like this and get taken to task by the media and the public, they issue an apology that often contains a sentence to the tune of "I'm sorry if anyone was offended." We in the LGBT community are unfortunately used to hearing this, followed swiftly by our eyes rolling. These "apologies" are anything but. Clearly the original statement was offensive if this person was forced to respond by their management, their team, or whoever else, so this sentence does not achieve the goal of making this person look less hateful. Given the original statement, it is also clear that it was them actually speaking honestly, whereas the "apology" was scripted by some P.R. firm and read halfheartedly before cameras, or merely released in written form, untouched by the person "performing" the "apology."

So my advice to Chris Culliver would be this: don't even bother. You insulted gay people enough with the original statement. Don't insult our intelligence with an unfeeling "apology" you don't mean thinking that we buy it. We don't. We have heard it before and the "apology" will NOT be accepted.

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