Some comments Hearst made to the Fresno Bee that appeared in that newspaper's Nov. 1 editions began sweeping through 49ers camp Thursday after they started attracting attention nationally in other newspapers.
In that Fresno Bee story, Hearst was responding to a question asking for his reaction about hearing former NFL player Esera Tuaolo, who played nine years in the league, was coming out of the closet, declaring openly that he is gay. Hearst was quoted by the newspaper as saying, "Aww, hell no! I don't want any faggots on my team. I know this might not be what people want to hear, but that's a punk. I don't want any faggots in this locker room."
Asked Thursday if he regretted making those comments, Hearst said, "Next question."
Then, he added, "I don't know. … If I hurt somebody's feelings, I hate that I did it, because I don't want to be rude. But, I mean, the comment was made."
Reporters waited for more than an hour in the 49ers locker room for Hearst to appear to face questions about the issue that he knew were coming.
"You guys are going to write what you're going to write," Hearst said. "I'm not going to concentrate on it. If anything, I'm concentrating on this game (Monday night against Philadelphia). I thought we'd be talking about how to pick up the blitz against Philly."
Niners general manager Terry Donahue did not try to sidestep the issue.
"I think it's unfortunate," Donahue said of Hearst's comments. "I don't think that is reflective of the attitude of the organization. Frankly, we're way too busy trying to block and tackle and hit passes to be involved in a social issue. In this kind of environment, you're trying to survive and win each week and trying to get by and we don't need to be becoming embroiled in a social issue. I think it was unfortunate that those comments were made, and insensitive, but I think we just have to go on."