Anti-gay bullying advocates are praising the San Francisco 49ers, who became the first NFL team to join the "It Gets Better" campaign in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
Appearing in the newly-released clip are linebacker Ahmad Brooks, defensive tackles Ricky Jean Francois and Isaac Sopoaga, as well as safety Donte Whitner. "The San Francisco 49ers are proud to join ItGetsBetter.org, to let all LGBT teens know that It Gets Better," Whitner says in the video.
Applauding the 49ers' efforts was openly gay fan Sean Chapin, who launched a Change.org petition asking the team to make a video. “This is a proud day for San Francisco, as two of our professional teams have taken a bold stand against bullying,” Chapin, who also successfully petitioned the San Francisco Giants to make a video last year, 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.”
Chapin's petition drew nearly 16,000 signatures.
Although the 49ers are the first to join the campaign collectively as an NFL team, Mike Williams of the Seattle Seahawks appeared alongside other Seattle-based pro athletes in a video released last year, The Advocate reports.