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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Around the NFC West: Culliver in spotlight

By Mike Sando


NEW ORLEANS -- The best NFL cornerbacks backpedal quickly. They change directions fluidly.

The San Francisco 49ers will find out Thursday how well cornerback Chris Culliver does those things while staring into bright lights, with microphones in his face and with reporters throwing uncomfortable questions his way.

The anti-gay remarks Culliver made Tuesday came to light Wednesday, leading the 49ers to issue two strongly worded statements. The first one rejected what Culliver said. The second one came from Culliver and will presumably serve as a starting point for his participation in a team-wide media session Thursday morning from the 49ers' hotel.

"The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel," the second statement read. "It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience."

The 49ers' media session Thursday will stand as their final team-wide availability until after the Super Bowl. The head coaches are the only members of either organization available on the Friday before the game.