The Giants on Wednesday became the first professional sports team to produce a video for the nationwide “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at discouraging discrimination and bullying against LGBT teens.
The video features pitchers Barry Zito, Sergio Romo and Matt Cain telling gay youths that despite discrimination, life will not always be so difficult.
“We’ve all been there, and have had to deal with the pressure to fit in and be accepted by our peers,” Romo says in the video.
Players said the whole team supports the anti-bullying effort.
“We speak for the entire Giants organization when we say that there is no place in society for hatred and bullying against anyone,” Zito said.
The video was spurred by lifelong Giants fan Sean Chapin, who started an online petition that garnered 6,000 signatures, following anti-gay comments in April by Kobe Bryant, and then more slurs later that month by Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell toward heckling fans during a game at AT&T Park.
“Homophobic outbursts like [McDowell’s] tend to become the fuel that pushes the civil rights movement even further,” Chapin said.
Since the “It Gets Better” campaign was started in 2010 by syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage, more than 10,000 videos have been produced.
Chapin said the Giants have been gracious in pushing social reform, including the team’s participation since 1994 in the Until There’s a Cure campaign to raise money for HIV/AIDS research and fight the stigma associated with those who have the virus.