Comcast SportsNet Bay Area has released a new PSA to encourage LGBT athletes to come out in the field as well as the locker room, with the aid of star athletes.
“You want to play on our team?” San Francisco 49ers’ Vernon Davis asks in the video. “If you can play, then you can play.”
The video also includes Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, Coco Crisp of the Oakland A’s, Marcel Reese of the Oakland Raiders, Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, and Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes.
Co-founded by Philadelphia Flyers scout Patrick Burke, the initiative aims to promote and ensure “equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.”
The San Jose Mercury News reported that many professional athletes wanted to participate in the Bay Area-based campaign.
“I jumped right in for the opportunity,” said Wondolowski in an interview with the Mercury News.
“I can’t imagine how much courage and bravery it would take to come out. I hope we can relay the message that athletes would love to have you as a teammate if you can play. And when you have a locker room full of supportive people, it makes the transition that much easier.”
Comcast SportsNet Bay Area president Ted Griggs contacted the seven major sports franchises of the Northern California region and discovered they quickly responded with enthusiasm.
“And the teams — every single one of them — sent an answer back within five or 10 minutes saying, ‘we’re in,’” said Griggs in an interview with the Mercury News.
Last year, many professional hockey players participated in the national PSA, “You Can Play”, with hopes of reaching out to LGBT athletes.