(it is probably far too late in the week for the Niners to rehire former P.R. director Kirk Reynolds)
For a variety of reasons, Sirius/XM sports radio loudmouth Dino Costa has been a frequent subject of criticism and ridicule in this space ; cataloging the reasons why would be entertaining, but some of you folks have work in the morning. One of my main gripes with Costa — a self-described opponent of those who’d champion “the homosexual lifestyle” (yes, he really does call it a lifestyle), was his earlier insistence that some of the heterosexuals in the sports world who’ve taken a public stance against anti-gay bullying and harassment are either deeply insincere or merely trying to appear politically correct. And while I still believe Costa was totally out to lunch in his nonsensical attack of the UConn hockey team’s participation in an anti-bullying video, it does appear this evening that in at least one prominent instance, a similar clip was produced featuring heterosexual male athletes who really didn’t give a shit about the cause they were ostensibly promoting.
Niners CB Chris Culliver made national news Wednesday with his remarks to The Audience Network’s Artie Lange about gays in NFL locker rooms. Though he and the team have since apologized, this blog and numerous other outlets took pains to point out Culliver’s employers previously sanctioned the production of a PSA for the “It Gets Better” initiative featuring some of his teammates. On Thursday, two of those fellow Niners, LB Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Issac Sopoaga first denied appearing in the video, then feigned ignorance as to what it as actually about. From USA Today’s Kevin Manahan :
“I didn’t make any video,” Brooks said. “This is America and if someone wants to be gay, they can be gay. It’s their right. But I didn’t make any video.”
When told USA TODAY Sports had seen the video and he was in it, Brooks replied, “I don’t remember that. I think if I made a video, I’d remember it.”
He was shown the video on an iPhone.
“Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay (rights) video,” he said.
When told that studies show that the majority of teens who are bullied are harassed over sexual identity issues, Brooks thought for a second.
“I know that. I know that,” he said. “Okay, you’re right and I’m wrong. Are you from one of those New York newspapers?”
Sopoaga, too, denied making the video, even while teammate Will Tukuafu, who overheard the question, tried to refresh his memory.
“Yeah, you made that video, remember?” Tukuafu said.
“No,” Sopoaga said. “I never went. And now someone is using my name.”
Though I have little to say in defense of Brooks and Sopoaga, it should be pointed out this is not the first time an athlete has made a public testimonial for something he or she might not have fully investigated.