The San Francisco Giants are to become the first major sports team to make an “It Gets Better” video, reported SF Weekly.
The video campaign, created by syndicated columnist Dan Savage, is designed to encourage LGBT youth who are victims of bullying and harassment. A number of celebrities and political leaders, including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have participated in the project.
The Giants’ decision came in response to an online petition campaign generated by change.org, according to Staci Slaughter, spokeswoman for the Giant. More than 6,500 people have signed it so far.
Slaughter told SF Weekly that the team was already considering doing an “It Gets Better” video even before the online petition.
Sean Chapin, a Giants fan, started the petition after Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell accosted Giants fans last month at ATT&T Park, asking the men if they were “homos.” He then took a baseball bat and simulated gay sex in front of the men and their young daughters.
McDowell as suspended, fined and forced to take sensitivity training.
“Professional sports is one of the few remaining pockets of strong homophobia in our country,” the petition states. “That’s why I am calling on the San Francisco Giants and their players to produce a video for the ‘It Gets Better Project.’ Should the team make a video to tell our LGBT youth that it does get better, the Giants may catalyze a watershed moment in professional sports.”
The Giants host an LGBT night every year. Giant’s relief pitcher Brian Wilson’s famous beard (pictured) has made him something of an icon to the gay bear subculture.