Former Red Sox Pitcher Says He Played With Gay Teammates
After San Francisco 49ers' cornerback Chris Culliver made headlines for saying he couldn't accept a gay teammate, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling took to Twitter and told his followers that he played with gay teammates in the past and had no problem with it, Boston.com reports.
"Also, I've never understood this 'issue' with gay players? Who cares? I know I played with some, their sexual orientation never had much to do with how they hit RISP, or pitched in late and close situations, why the hell would what they do in the bedroom ever matter?" the baseball star wrote in two separate tweets.
Schilling's remarks may come to a surprise to some, as the baseball player campaigned for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and Sen. John McCain in the 2008 election. Over the years, the conservative's name has come up a few times as a potential Senate candidate, but the athlete has yet put his hat in the political ring.
Days before the Super Bowl, Culliver made controversial statements in an interview with radio host Artie Lange. When he was asked how he would feel if one of his peers was gay, Culliver said, "I don't do the gay guys man. I don't do that. No, 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. Nah...can't be...in the locker room man. Nah."
LGBT activist groups, marriage equality supporters, fellow teammates and fans instantly slammed the football player for his remarks and he soon backtracked and issued an apology.
"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel," he said in a statement released by the team. "It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience."
Culliver also started sensitivity training and education after the 49ers lost against the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl. The Associated Press reports that the athlete will work with the Trevor Project, an organization that aims to prevent suicide among LGBT youth.
"He's so passionate about youth and people being comfortable with who they are and accepted by all," Culliver's spokesman said. "He's excited to learn. The plan is with The Trevor Project, and their concerns are that he is genuine about his words."
While Culliver has been in the spotlight for his anti-gay comments, Ravens' linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo has garnered attention for his support for marriage equality. The athlete has been a fantastic ally to the LGBT community and has discussed marriage equality with a number of major outlets.
"Being the first pioneer publicly accepting same-sex marriage in the three major sports was difficult at first but the more people scrutinized me and ridiculed me, the stronger I became for the issue," Ayanbadejo told Russell Simmons, who has also defended gay marriage as well, in an interview. "It was like lifting weights; the resistance made me stronger, stand taller and speak louder for LGBT rights!"
Ayanbadejo even made a #Time4Marriage video where he says, "Join me and the majority of Americans who support marriage equality -- it's the right thing to do."
Watch the clip below: