The 31-year-old Canadian gave his thoughts in a tweet posted late Wednesday night. He called for action against the San Francisco 49ers cornerback who caused the biggest stir of Super Bowl week when he said a gay teammate would have to “get up outta here” and that no one in the locker room could “be with that sweet stuff.”

Ryan wrote[2]:

If Chris Culliver isn’t suspended by Goodell then I am absolutely embarrassed to be part of a league that accepts this type of behavior.

Goodell could suspend Culliver, I suppose. The better way to handle the situation is to say nothing and let Culliver face the court of public opinion.

Social change comes about incrementally. Suspension or not, Culliver’s opinion isn’t going to change overnight. Nor will those of the many players who agree with him in silence. But the horde of press that gathered around Culliver in New Orleans shows that such beliefs are no longer held by the majority. This is another step in the process.

And it is a step in the right direction, despite suggestions that Culliver’s comments may have set back the timetable[3] for an NFL athlete coming out. The opposite seems more likely.

The attention on Culliver and the immediate backlash to his comments proves that the country is ready for a gay athlete, even if the locker room isn’t. That’s a step too.

Any player thinking about becoming an NFL pioneer already knows what he’ll be up against. It’s not like Culliver’s comments were anything they hadn’t heard before. Think of it this way: If Culliver said that on a radio show, can you imagine what gets spoken behind closed doors? Knowing that it won’t be that way with the public can only be a positive sign for the movement.