The Tampa Bay Times
February 4, 2013

It doesn't matter that 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver tried to take back his antigay remarks. By saying on Artie Lange's national radio show during last week's Super Bowl media day that San Francisco "ain't got no gay people on the team. They gotta get up outta here if they do. Can't be with that sweet stuff," Culliver reminded that even in a time when homosexuality is so much more accepted as part of society, it still seems treacherous for a male gay athlete to be "out" while playing. That's why it was interesting that in a survey of 22 of the Lightning's 23 players (one was unavailable), all said they generally would be fine with an openly gay teammate. None said they knowingly had played with one. To be sure, some players were wary, saying their acceptance depended on the dressing room dynamic not turning "weird" or "awkward." But most comments went like this: "Not everyone has to agree with it, but if someone in our locker room you were a friend with would come out, for me, personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it," center Steven Stamkos said. "He's still a teammate. He still has your back on the ice. That's just the way it is."