Why Is The Trevor Project Helping Out Homophobic 49er Chris Culliver?

chris culliverAfter he had sufficient time to lick his wounds from losing the Super Bowl, the San Francisco 49ers’ Chris Culliver was ready to publicly atone for saying gay players shouldn’t be in NFL.

So the cornerback spent all day Monday at the Los Angeles offices of the Trevor Project, reports  NBC Sports. Culliver’s publicist, Theodore Palmer, said the football pro “learned a lot” in his day with the LGBT youth-crisis group. “He wants to use his profile as a professional athlete to help—he wants to become a volunteer for the organization and become more active.”

You know how Culliver can help? By staying the hell away from LGBT kids.

This is a man who told publicly said, “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,” and recommended any gay ballers only come out 10 years after he retires.

Those kids who turn to the Trevor Project for a lifeline read the Internet—they know what he said, and they’ve heard enough of that in their lives already.

We are grateful for the work they do, but we gotta say we’re a little disappointed in the Trevor Project for so eagerly offering itself up as p.r. rehab for Culliver. Apparently, Trevor Project spokeswoman Laura McGinnis thinks Culliver could be a great crisis-intervention volunteer or work with programs directed at young people. Writes the Sacramento Bee:”McGinnis said there was no reason to suspect Culliver, 24, wasn’t sincere in his desire to understand and help at-risk youth.”

Oh, sure—what possible ulterior motive could a man who was excoriated from coast to coast for homophobic comments have for volunteering at a LGBT nonprofit?

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  • watching1

    Yeah, well, Trevor Project is becoming as lame as GLAAD. They honored Katy Perry, ffs, a woman famous for that song about straight women co-opting lesbianism for fun, and who doesn’t consider herself a feminist. I had to write them off with all that. They clearly aren’t concerned with role models for girls.

  • Oneway

    Amen! If you’ll recall, Trevor Project was on board with this homophobe rehab within 72 hours of his faux pas of saying what he really thinks. “No reason to think he’s insincere” my ass!

  • Dionte

    Why go through so much trouble to convince people that what he said was wrong and that he now wants to help? What makes them have a change of heart so quickly?

  • demetreus

    Such Bitter Queens, posting above me!!!!

    The fact that Chris Culliver is working with the Trevor project, I give him props.

    There are far too many other notable people, who are speaking publicly against the LGBT community and they could give a rats @ss about apologizing. Let alone, working with a known LGBT project.

    Another example has been made in our favor, so quit your GRIPING!!!

  • Taliaferro

    It is possible that Culliver has seen his bigotry for what it is and truly wants to atone. Are to deny people the right to grow and change simply because they once said something without actually thinking about the consequences? I am certain the Trevor Project is keeping close tabs on whatever he does. Have we become such a cynical and bitter group of people that we cannot let people change and grow? Are we that stunted?

  • Spike

    Amazing how quick these organizations are to sell out and allow themselves to be used by these homophobes in their attempt to back pedal away from their homophobic statements. This guy said what he meant and meant what he said. Question to the apologist commentators here, why is it that he has gotten involved with Trevor after the fact and not before he made his ‘…faggot…’ statement? Just curious. And if he is in fact sincere about atoning, why the photo-op?

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  • Fitz

    I we ALREADY have all the supporters that we are ever going to have, then we are FUCKED. Without lube.
    We have to have the capacity for someone to learn & change.
    I know that holding a grudge is satisfying in the short-term, but I assure you:
    we NEED some homophobes to learn from us and join us. You don’t have to be perfect
    from the start. Think about how many stupid opinions you had when you were young, on
    all sorts of important issues.

  • miniskull

    You know what will help? Get this kid a fucking education. Seriously, can’t believe he graduated from college.

  • Fidelio

    I don’t get the vitriol about Culliver working with the Trevor Project, and about the Trevor Project, itself.

    I criticized Matt Moore because he genuinely was negatively impacting LGBT youth, but felt Culliver had the unique opportunity to make amends by engaging with the LGBT community. In my view, working with Trevor Project is a great way for Culliver to be exposed to our plight and, perhaps, one day support our fight for equality.

    It may be a bit premature for Avery to treat Culliver with such animosity considering Culliver is, at a minimum, making an effort.

  • Jimcracky

    Since research tells us THE major factor in reducing homophobia is actually knowing someone who is gay I give kudos to The Trevor Project for allowing Culliver a chance to atone and perhaps grow a little. So long as he is monitored in his contacts with kids it’s a good thing. Also, I don’t doubt there is a P.R. element to this for Culliver, but so what? The fact he feels the need to publicly make some amends tells us how far we’ve come. Let’s leave those who are initially against us room to change and grow. They make great stories to share with others if the “conversion” is real, and besides, bitterness does not become us. :-)

  • Hunter

    I can’t believe this — a guy makes a really bad blunder, offers what from all appearances is a sincere apology (and it was an actual apology — the man took full responsibility for his words and admitted he was wrong), makes an effort to learn something and do something of value for the people he’s insulted, and that’s not good enough.

    Grow up.


    Even though I do think that people can change…I don’t think that they can change (and be sincere about it) this quickly. This is simply a public relations stunt.

  • niles

    When will gay groups grow balls and learn to stay mad when appropriate? When someone says awful things about the gays, it has become a knee jerk reaction by these bleeding heart groups to bend over backwards to accommodate them in their rehabilitation. They are looking like total fools (and don’t forget the NFL players and other athletes allowed to do “It gets Better” psa’s without even specifying gay youth. wise up!

  • Fitz

    By most of your logic: there is no reason for a homophobe to
    bother learning and growing— cuz you will keep his ass in a sling
    forever no matter what changes for him. Good message, idiots.

  • Oneway

    I’d lose my skepticism but for the fact it’s his PR guy doing the talking.

  • Mofdgheb

    Definitely a PR job. This is not cynicism, but an educated guess.

  • Hunter

    @Oneway: Of course it is. Do you think there’s any celebrity anywhere who releases statements to the press without the involvement of their PR person or press liaison? Especially after a gaffe like the one Culliver managed.

    I’m watching what he does. He’s making what seems to be a sincere effort to make amends. I’m not giving him a pass on anything — that depends on what he comes up with in the future. But I’m not going to put his head on the chopping block, either.

    Fitz @15 has it exactly right. Maybe some of the commenters here should think about what their message sounds like out here in public.

  • Shannon1981

    Culliver hasn’t changed. His PR people probably gave him two choices: volunteer with the Trevor Project or get off the team. This was a public relations nightmare leading up to the Superbowl, and, to add insult to injury, they lost the game on top of having this business overshadow Superbowl week. This nothing but PR. Further, the Trevor Project should know that and refuse to let Culliver anywhere near those kids.

  • Trevor Project

    We love and appreciate Queerty and all you do for the LGBTQ community. The Trevor Project holds as our top organizational value, Acceptance. We will not turn away anyone who asks us for help, (

    In early February, we released the below statement to the media about our work with Chris, (

    “Every day, The Trevor Project hears from hundreds of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people on the phone, online and in classrooms about the challenges they face. Too often, the prejudice, fear and hate directed at them by family members, peers, faith leaders and adults they look up to can lead them to do self-destructive things, and possibly attempt suicide. As caring adults, gatekeepers and role models, we have a responsibility to reduce the harmful risks to our children. That is why The Trevor Project provides educational trainings to adults who interact with youth to better educate them about the unique and specific needs of LGBTQ youth, and also to help recognize the warning signs for suicide and reduce the risk of an attempt.

    “In the coming weeks, The Trevor Project will work with Chris Culliver and his family to educate him about the very real challenges encountered by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, and how one’s words can impact the behaviors of at-risk youth.

    “The Trevor Project recognizes that what Chris said was harmful, and if not addressed could influence his young and impressionable fans to perpetuate those kinds of harmful remarks among their peers. We are glad that Chris wants to learn and that The Trevor Project can help. We hope others, whether athletes, faith leaders, parents or educators can learn from Chris’s actions, and turn to groups like The Trevor Project when they recognize they have said or done something that can harm a young LGBTQ person.”

  • jar

    The old adage, don’t tell me, show me! applies here. There is always room for growth and we know this. I would bet every out gay or lesbian person has dealt with people in their lives whose attitudes were not the most developed. We work with them to help them develop a better understanding and respect for us individually and gay and lesbian people generally. So, to those who want to cast aspersions about gay and lesbian people not being understanding or forgiving, I say hogwash.

    However, as the old saying goes, show me. I think the Trevor Project has tarnished its image (at least in my eyes) with how it handled this incident. Clearly, Culliver’s people were looking for a way to put a lid on this problem. Sadly, the Trevor Project complied. Since the TP has read this thread, I would ask them to answer the following question (or address the issues raised in this thread rather than offering a cut and paste job on its Culliver-serving press release): why did you have to go public with this? Why not offer Culliver some education and let him actually prove his bona fides before issuing the press release? And how much money did he donate for this seeming quid pro quo.

    As was pointed out re GLAAD, it is disheartening when organizations that do good work on behalf of our community lose focus and desperately seek the acceptance(?), attention(?) of straights. As if the only way to prove ourselves is to prostrate ourselves before straight people.

    I would offer this scenario to TP. A small student is bullied by a member of the football team through intimidation and loudly being called faggot or dyke. The bullying becomes public information. The school then has the bully apologize and say he didn’t mean what he said, he has seen the error of his ways in order to retain his position on the team. Under the Trevor Project’s approach, that bullied kid should be comforted and satisfied by the public apology even though s/he he knows the bully has a significant interest in making the issue die down. At least until football season is over.

    Shame on you, Trevor Project!

  • jar

    @Trevor Project: Why not wait until you have actually educated him and are comfortable that he’s not just feeding you a line out of personal expediency? That’s what I would expect from an organization whose mandate is to protect children from harm. Shame on you.

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