On a day San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver offered a lame apology for making homophobic remarks, 49ers’ linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, denied that they helped produce a much-praised “It Gets Better” video last summer, the first such video made by an National Football League team. Dan Savage, who founded the “It’s Gets Better” project, removed the video from his organization’s website — the first time such an action has been taken.
In an interview with USA Today, the players said 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 told the publication. “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 also denied taking part in the clip, even as a teammate allegedly tried to refresh his memory. “I never went,” he declared. “And now someone is using my name.”
Here is Truth Wins Out’s statement on this incident:
The repellent actions of these players are absolutely outrageous and insulting. They are a slap in the face to America’s most gay-friendly metropolis and a rejection of the inclusive values that have made San Francisco one of the world’s great cities. As for Brooks and Sopoaga, they are entitled to place their ignorance on full display, but they should realize that it comes with a prohibitive cost to their reputations, the city they represent, and the sport in which they are supposed to be ambassadors.
Their crass words and clueless actions actions are as divisive as they are dumb — tearing at the fabric of San Francisco at a time when the Super Bowl should be uniting the city, as well as football fans everywhere. That these men, as well as Culliver, have foolishly elected to use their Super Bowl spotlight to demean and dehumanize a substantial portion of their fan base is a brazen act of arrogance that encourages the very bullying the ‘It Gets Better’ project addresses.
It is our view that the San Francisco 49ers should suspend Culliver without pay for the first two games next season. And the team should strongly contemplate parting ways with Brooks and Sopoaga next year for the breach of trust and significant harm they have done to the team’s reputation and relationship with the city.”