After the San Francisco Giants became the first MLB team to film an “It Gets Better” video, the city’s 49ers followed suit, becoming the first NFL team to lend their voice to the anti-bullying campaign.
According to The Sacramento Bee, both teams were prodded by fan Sean Chapin, whose petition for the Giants led to nine other teams including the Dodgers, Cubs and Red Sox filming their own spots.
Chapin gathered some 16,000 signatures on Change.org encouraging the 49ers to become the first NFL team to film an “It Gets Better” PSA, which features defenders Donte Whitner, Ahmad Brooks, Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois.
Although the 49ers are the first NFL team to collectively hop aboard the anti-bullying campaign, last year the Seahawks’ Mike Williams joined other Seattle pro athletes for a citywide sports-team effort.
Though housed in one of the most progressively gay-friendly cities in America, the 49ers have had their share of LGBT flack, reports The Bee:
In 2002, the 49ers made national news when then-running back Garrison Hearst used a slur when telling the Fresno Bee that he didn’t want gay players in the team’s locker room.
Longtime 49ers trainer Lindsy McLean publicly revealed he was gay upon his retirement in 2004. McLean’s sexual orientation was an open secret at the 49ers’ facility.
He has said he mostly was treated with respect during more than two decades as the team’s top trainer, but he also has spoken about taunting and harassment by players.
But as those large men in those large red jerseys promote, it gets better…hopefully.