From coast to coast, Major League Baseball is joining one of the nation’s most passionate movements.
Last week, the San Francisco Giants became the first major professional sports team to join the “It Gets Better” campaign, designed to let bullied kids — specifically LBGT youth — know just that, it gets better. The Cubs and Red Sox have since announced they will be the second and third.
The Giants, long gay-rights activists, already had plans to film the video, but sped up the process so the one-minute piece — featuring Barry Zito and Co. — could be released to kick off national Pride month. It hit YouTube on June 1, and already has topped 100,000 hits.
“It sends a really nice message on behalf of the organization, and the players did a great job,” Staci Slaughter, Giants senior vice president of communications, told MLB.com. “It’s an important message for all teens to hear. We’re pretty proud to be part of the campaign.”
The Red Sox, meanwhile, are reacting to the impassioned plea by a New Hampshire seventh-grader, who collected thousands of signatures in an online petition.
“The Red Sox organization takes the issue of bullying seriously,” the ballclub said in a statement. “It is something that has touched many of us and those we love, and it is a growing problem in our community. 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.”
Here’s the news report on that. Their “It Gets Better” video is due out soon.
The Cubs’ video, meanwhile, is set to be filmed next week
“Bullying of anyone for any reason is unacceptable,” Ricketts, the first openly gay owner of a major pro sports team, told the Windy City Times. “We are proud to join the Giants in taking a stand against bullying and encourage other professional sports organizations to do the same.”
Will the Tigers be among the teams following the Giants’ lead? There’s no immediate word from the ballclub, but I’ll let you know when I hear.
The “It Gets Better” movement was founded in September 2010 by synidcated columnist/gay-rights activist Dan Savage and partner Terry Miller in response to all the youth suicides, and now includes more than 10,000 videos, including one by President Obama, as well as many A-list celebrities. Visit the movement’s website for more information.