Comedian Artie Lange, left, talks to San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald (91) and Darcel McBath (28) during media day Tuesday at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. / John David Mercer, USA TODAY Sports
NEW ORLEANS - As comedian Artie Lange reflected Saturday on the controversy he stirred this week with San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver, the publicist for the cornerback says sensitivity training will start post-Super Bowl for the anti-gay remarks the player made.
Culliver is scheduled to begin working with The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, according to his public relations representative, Theodore Palmer.
"It's just an opportunity for him to learn about his comments and educate himself about the LGBT community, and grow," Palmer said. "It's the first step in learning about his words."
On media day Tuesday, Lange had raised the issue with Culliver about whether he would accept a teammate who was gay. The second-year player said he would not accept that and added that if the 49ers had any homosexual players, they should leave.
"When I asked the question I was just joking around, and then he wouldn't stop talking," Lange told USA TODAY Sports at the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl here on Saturday. "I said to myself, 'I gotta play this tape, but he's a young kid and doesn't know any better.'
"Yeah, in today's world I knew it would get a big reaction. It seemed to get a little crazier than I thought."
Culliver's anti-gay comments drew an immediate rebuke from the team and an apologetic statement from the player Wednesday, followed by an hour-long Q&A on the subject during player availability with media Thursday.
Meanwhile, the It Gets Better Project for gay rights has pulled from its website an ad made with some 49er players who subsequently said they thought they had been involved with only an anti-bullying video.
When shown the ad, defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and linebacker Ahmad Brooks told USA TODAY Sports they had no idea it was to support gay rights.
All this arising from what Lange thought was a harmless question.
"It ruined (Culliver's) week and I don't feel good about that. But if that's how he really felt and this helped it get out there, maybe he'll change it," Lange said.
"I'm a stupid comedian. I don't think he knew who I was. I looked homeless, quite frankly."
Palmer also said Culliver will spend time volunteering at a crisis center in San Francisco.
Contributing: Wire reports
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