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02/01/2013

Fumbling damage control: It gets worse for San Francisco's team

by Jeremy Hooper

Last night, the Chris Culliver story took a weird and unsettling turn:

201302010821-1Another wrinkle in the discussion around San Francisco 49ers and gays unfolded yesterday as two players, linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, were being questioned by reporters about Chris Culliver's anti-gay remarks.

Because Brooks and Sopoaga participated in the 49ers 'It Gets Better' video last year, reporters figured they would have an interesting perspective on the story, but a new controversy arose when Brooks and Sopoaga both denied participating in the video, and then, when they were shown it, said they never knew it had anything to do with gays, and then appeared to want to distance themselves from it.

KEEP READING: San Francisco 49ers Brooks and Sopoanga Distance Themselves from 'Gay' 'It Gets Better' Video [Towle]

So now we have pro players telling the kids who were inspired by their "It Gets Better" video that they were somehow duped into participating in the clip. That's almost more dangerous than having not done the video in the first place. Now these vulnerable kids are hearing a message of embarrassment or even shame which, when coupled with Chris Culliver's earlier comments about not "do[ing] gay people," sets a pretty dangerous playing field for both those who so fully need the inspiration and those who so desperately need the education.

Upon learning of this new development, Dan Savage promptly pulled the 49ers' IGB video. So basically, it's all a big sh*tstorm here on the eve of football (and the 49ers') biggest weekend of the year. And it's another major event where LGBT audiences and allies find their mindless night of potato skins, Beyoncé, and Doritos commercials injected with an oh-so-fun layer of controversy.

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