SF Giants are the first major sports team to make an “It Gets Better” video

Yesterday, the San Francisco Giants became the first major sports team to release an “It Gets Better” video.

The team decided to make the video after a fan, Sean Chapin, used social media to collect over 6,500 signatures on a change.org petition. And now others, including a 12-year-old Red Sox fan, have started similar petitions to their favorite teams.

We’ve written before how disappointing it is to see some high-profile politicians like Hillary Clinton and Mayor Mike Bloomberg jump on the “It Gets Better” bandwagon without acknowledging that they are, in fact, in a position to actually make things better for LBGT folks. Professional athletes obviously don’t have the same kind of power to change discriminatory policies, but, since sports are so often bastions of homophobia and toxic masculinity–particular during the teenage years–I think they do have a real ability to influence the cultural underpinnings of homophobia.

So I’m glad the Giants have made this video–although I do wish they had mentioned LGBT youth specifically more that just the once. And I hope that they back it up by calling out anti-gay slurs by fellow athletes, vocally supporting the ever-increasing number of openly gay people on their teams and in their communities, and taking a cue from New York Rangers player Sean Avery and getting involved in pro-equality politics.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted June 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Steve Nash also participated in a “It Gets Better” video a while ago.

    While people and media are more “reactive” about this sort of issue, the use of slurs by Bryant and Noah was broadly condemned.

    Sentiment on the issue is turning, and while sports may not generally take the lead on this issue, it will probably make a difference on socially conservative communities that would generally reject messages from more “liberal” institutions.

    In defense of the basketball and football leagues, they have collective bargaining agreements to work on right now (the NBA’s agreement ends in about a month; the NFL’s has already expired, and the owners have already “locked out” the players), so each league does have a significant obstacle to deal with right now. Each league has the potential to start getting involved in future seasons, but present circumstances do have the leagues, the teams, and many players understandably preoccupied.

  2. Posted June 2, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Where was Brian Wilson…he’s in a million other internet videos. Kinda disappointed.

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