The San Francisco Giants are the first major sports team to make an It Gets Better video in support of LGBT youth and the anti-bullying campaign. The Giants produced the video in response to a request from a long-time fan on Change.org.
Sean Chapin, a 35-year-old accountant and member of the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus, used his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds to drive a Change.org petition urging the Giants to produce the video.A Chicago Cubs fan adopted the idea, and the Chicago Cubs will become the next team to make an IGB video. And just today, we heard our Boston Red Sox will do the same.
"I was sick of the negative conversation around Kobe Bryant's gay slur," Chapin said. "So I said wouldn't it be really great if we were talking about LGBT issues in a positive way."
Chapin collected more than 6,500 online signatures, and the Giants soon agreed.
The Boston Red Sox announced today that they will produce an “It Gets Better” video, becoming the third team in professional sports in a week to join the campaign in taking a stand against anti-gay bullying and homophobia. More than 9,000 people -- mostly Red Sox fans in New England -- signed 12-year-old Sam Maden’s Change.org petition to the Red Sox, which he started in honor of his Uncle Chris, who died unexpectedly in January at the age of 43.Sam Maden is one cool kid. I read about kids like this every day - young people with ideas and energy and compassion, eager to make a difference in their world. And I think, this is our job as adults: to support the efforts of young people like Sam Maden - not to piss on their ideas with cynicism and defeatism - but to reflect their compassion and their hope back at them, to show them the world is worth fighting for, and that we're fighting, too.
"We are proud of dedicated Red Sox fans like 12-year-old Sam Maden who have taken the courageous step of publicly standing up against bullying of LGBT youth," said Susan Goodenow, Senior Vice President/Public Affairs and Marketing for the Red Sox, in a statement. "The Red Sox have frequently done PSA videos, or public service announcement videos, on important social issues. We are currently producing an “It Gets Better” video to support the It Gets Better campaign to stop bullying of LGBT youth and teen suicides. We hope that when it is released it will both reflect our continued commitment to be active participants in the community and help advance the efforts of Sam and others to stop bullying. Our team stands for respect and inclusion – there is no place for discrimination or acts of hatred in Red Sox Nation."
Sam Maden’s effort began after his seventh-grade teacher recently asked him to come up with a project that could “make a difference” in the world. Sam decided to merge his love for the Red Sox with a cause his uncle believed in passionately: ending the bullying of gay kids and kids perceived to be gay. Inspired by news that the San Francisco Giants had responded to a fan’s petition on Change.org by announcing they would become the first pro sports team to create an “It Gets Better” anti-bullying video, Sam decided to ask his favorite team -- the Red Sox -- to make a video as well.
Sam, who currently plays on three baseball teams and was invited by the Red Sox to shout “Play Ball!” before a sold-out crowd at Fenway Park, thinks a video from the team will be a milestone in professional sports.
“When I found out about my uncle’s passing, I didn’t know what to do,” Sam Maden said. “This is something I can do to honor him. Uncle Chris knew how much I love the Red Sox and I think he would have been thrilled with the team making an ‘It Gets Better’ video to support kids.”
Also: go Red Sox! I can't wait to see the video!