The San Francisco 49ers gave their fans new reason to cheer them on. The team became the first in the NFL to make its own It Gets Better video, calling on the nation the stop bullying LGBT youth.
The football team released the minute-long video today, which shows clips of defensive tackles Ricky Jean Francois and Isaac Sopoaga, as well as safety Donte Whitner, all promising LGBT teens that it gets better.
Watch and learn:
Of course, the team had some atoning to do on this front. Back in 2002, running back Garrison Hearst made a public apology to the gay community after he was quoted saying "I don't want any faggots on my team."
Although they are the first professional football team to produce an It Gets Better video, they aren't the first sports team; last year the San Francisco Giants started a trend among professional athletes when it released a 60-second video featuring some of your favorite Giants, Matt Cain and Barry Zito, speaking out against bullying and letting LGBT youngsters know that the entire team is behind them.
Shortly after that video went viral, the S.F. Police Department released its own It Gets Better video, becoming the nation's first law enforcement agency to publicly support the campaign.
The 49ers were no doubt encouraged by both entities; however it was openly gay Sean Chapin who packed the pressure on the football team to follow the rest of San Francisco's lead. Chapin started a petition, asking the 49ers to make their own It Gets Better video for troubled teens who look up to professional athletes. His petition garnered some 16,000 signatures.
"This is a proud day for San Francisco, as two of our professional teams
have taken a bold stand against bullying," Chapin said in a statement. "Let's hope this is only the beginning, and
that more NFL and professional sports teams around the country take this
opportunity to speak up on behalf of LGBT fans and kids."
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