SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chris Culliver, cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, recently made hurtful, hateful, homophobic comments about gay athletes playing in the NFL. Chris immediately issued both a written and publicly communicated apology for his remarks; however, Chris recognizes these apologies neither excuse his statements nor sufficiently convey Chris’ remorse for the situation he created, and the people he offended. Regardless of what has been, and what undoubtedly will be said about Culliver’s comments and his subsequent mea culpa, the simple fact remains: action expresses priorities. It is with this concept in mind that Chris has unilaterally reached out to The Trevor Project to seek guidance and education about the LGBTQ community from the nation’s leading provider of crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. The Trevor Project also provides education services to youth and adults.
Rather than attempt to downplay the severity of the issue at hand, or shy from the situation in the interests of mitigating damage to his reputation, Chris intends to embrace this ordeal as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. Best known for its 24/7 Trevor Lifeline for LGBT youth in crisis (1-866-488-7386), The Trevor Project is also a resource for adults and straight allies, offering age-appropriate education programs to help people of all ages learn more about the unique challenges faced by LGBT youth and those who question their sexual orientation or gender identity. Surprisingly, Chris has gay family members and close friends for whom he cares deeply. Chris’ uncle Andrew Brown is one of the celebrated directors of Word Is Out, the first feature-length documentary about lesbian and gay identity made by gay filmmakers; an iconic film for the emerging gay rights movement in the 1970s. Brown has come forward in support of Chris and his efforts to educate himself about the true impact of his commentary.
Chris recognizes it will be a long road to genuine understanding, and is eager to use this experience as an opportunity to take steps towards eradicating this type of ignorance in the NFL and in society as a whole.
In Chris’ own words, “As an African American male, I should know better. Hate and discrimination have a lasting effect, and words matter. I also have a responsibility to myself, and especially to my young fans to be a better role model. The kids who look up to me and other athletes are the future of our country, and our future deserves better than fear, hate and discrimination…. I was wrong, and I want to learn how to make it right. That’s why I reached out to The Trevor Project… No child should ever feel like they are less than anyone else, and God has put me through this storm so I can learn from my mistakes and help make sure no child has to feel that way again.”
In the weeks immediately following Super Bowl XLVII, Chris will be working with The Trevor Project staff and volunteers to learn about the risks that LGBTQ youth face and how Chris can do his part to reduce those risks. The Trevor Project has an unmatched reputation and is a leading resource for organizations ranging from Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation’s “Born Brave Bus Tour,” to federal offices like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They have been honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change,” and have received the highest level of accreditation from the American Association of Suicidology. The Trevor Project is a “Four-Star Charity” rated by Charity Navigator. All these elements, plus their commitment to providing life-saving and life-affirming resources to LGBT youth makes The Trevor Project the perfect organization to educate Chris about how to use his celebrity status to empower youth to know that they have value and deserve a chance to live and be who they dream to be, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Chris, like the rest of the resilient 49ers, believes the true content of one’s character is revealed in times of adversity. As such, Chris is determined not to hide from this crisis, but rather to take the actions necessary to make it right.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Theodore Palmer – Publicist – Creative Edge Public Relations – (646) 575-2967 – TPalmer@creativeedgepr.com
SOURCE Chris Culliver