By Zack Jenkins
On August 23, the San Francisco 49ers released an official It Gets Better campaign video to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender optimism among youth and sexuality.
In the one-minute video, players from the team look straight into the camera while wearing their jerseys and speak of individuality and personal strength. Donte Whitner, a safety for the San Francisco 49ers, ends with, “On behalf of the entire 49ers organization, we are on your side. And we promise ‘It Gets Better.’”
The Youtube video is the first by any professional football team to publicly support anti-bullying efforts. In June of last year, the San Francisco Giants released an ‘It Gets Better’ video. Both teams are proud to support LGBT youth, and were prompted to make the videos due to Change.org petitions.
Last year, Sean Chapin launched a petition through the social advocacy website and received over 16,000 signatures, urging the five-time Super Bowl championship team to participate and break the rainbow support barrier in the sport of football.
Chapin said the difference 49er support would make for Bay Area kids, as well as those across the country, “will be nothing short of awesome.”
Bob Lange, a spokesman for the 49ers, said “we were happy to speak out against bullying as it affects people from all walks of life,” and that the video fits with the mission of both the team and its youth foundation.
In the video, Ricky Jean Francois, a defensive tackle, said “There’s nothing easy about being young … about being an individual … [but]It Gets Better.”