NFL Player, Chris Culliver, has said in an interview that he didn’t think there were any gay players on his team, and that they wouldn’t be welcome if there were.

The cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers said in an interview that gay NFL football players were not welcome, and should leave if there were.

He said: “I don’t do the gay guys man… I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.

“Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can’t be…in the locker room man. Nah,” he continued, reports Yahoo. 

When asked whether if there were gay athletes, they would need to keep their sexuality a secret in the industry, Mr Culliver said: “Yeah, come out 10 years later after that.”

This interview came as a shock to some, given San Francisco’s history with gay rights. Gay rights advocates had noted the fact that both the San Francisco 49ers and rival team the Baltimore Ravens, and players from both teams, had strong links to equal marriage, and LGBT rights.

Ravens player, and equal marriage advocate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, has said that he wants to use the massive exposure which the Super Bowl brings to speak out about marriage equality.

Brendon Ayanbadejo was previously involved in a controversy because he was criticised by a state delegate for speaking in favour of equal marriage.

In November, upon waking to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state, Ayanbadejo said it was “like Christmas”.

Actor, Neil Patrick Harris, recently faced accusations of “mocking Christianity” and pushing a “gay agenda” for his appearance in an advert for the Super Bowl.

On Monday, a retired San Francisco 49ers player was charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges involving a former boyfriend.

The Super Bowl will take place in the US on 3 February 2013.