San Francisco Giants release It Gets Better video

The San Francisco Giants have become the first professional sports team to produce an It Gets Better video.

The video campaign is designed to prevent suicides among LGBT youth who are victims of bullying and harassment. More than 10,000 videos have been produced since syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the project in September 2010. A number of major corporations, celebrities and political leaders, including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have participated in the project.

The Giants video features current players Matt Cain, Sergio Romo, Andres Torres and Barry Zito (pictured), as well as hitting coach Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens.

The Giants’ decision to produce a video came in response to an online petition campaign generated by change.org and signed by more than 6,500 people.

Giants fan Sean Chapin started the petition after Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell accosted Giants fans at AT&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 was suspended, fined and required to take sensitivity training.

“I am ecstatic to see the San Francisco Giants reach out to LGBT youth and confront homophobia,” Chapin wrote in an e-mail to change.org.  “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!”

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, which raised money for HIV/AIDS research.

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