Today, the San Francisco Giants became the first team in professional sports to produce an "It Gets Better" video taking a stand against anti-gay bullying and homophobia, supported by more than 6,000 fans via a Change.org petition.
The Giants video features four current players -- Matt Cain, Sergio Romo, Andres Torres and Barry Zito -- as well as Giants hitting coach Hensley "Bam Bam" Muelens, and delivers the "It Gets Better" message in English, Spanish and Japanese. The video can be viewed here:
Lifelong Giants fan Sean Chapin encouraged the World Series champions to make an "It Gets Better" video by starting an online petition on Change.org, the world's fastest-growing platform for social change, following recent controversial incidents involving baseball coach Roger McDowell and basketball star Kobe Bryant. More than 6,000 Giants fans signed Chapin's petition.
Chapin is thrilled with the video. In an email to Change.org, he wrote:
"I am ecstatic to see the San Francisco Giants reach out to LGBT youth and confront homophobia. I couldn't be more proud of my home team. I hope that the Giants' exceptional contribution to the It Gets Better Project inspires other sports teams and players to join this important cause. GO GIANTS!"
The Giants have a long history of supporting the LGBT community. In 1994, the Giants became the first team in Major League Baseball to dedicate a game every year to "Until There's A Cure" Day -- raising money for HIV/AIDS research at a time when victims were still being stigmatized.
More than 10,000 "It Gets Better" videos have been produced since syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the project in September 2010, in response to an epidemic of teen suicides by gay kids and kids perceived to be gay. Through "It Gets Better" videos, President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and corporations like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Pixar and other major organizations and leaders have provided hope to kids struggling with sexual orientation and gender identity.
If you or someone you know is struggling and needs help, please call the Trevor Project at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR