Things are certainly getting better for gays in sports. After creating an online petition, Sean Chapin of San Francisco has successfully convinced the San Francisco Giants to become the first sports team to come out against homophobia and make an It Gets Better video!
Over 10,000 people, including celebrities, politicians and other high-profile people, have created videos for the project, and yet no professional sports team has stepped up to the plate and hit one out to LGBT youth. Harvey Milk said, “You gotta give ’em hope,” and having a professional sports team speak out against anti-gay bullying, youth suicide, and the difficulties of being a gay teen is monumental.
As we’ve written over the past couple of weeks, homophobia is rampant in the sports world and is truly the last huge barrier to an enormous sea change when it comes to the cultural acceptance of gays. So many young people – and even many adults – look to the sports world for their role models. They mimic what they see, and just like the homophobia of rap music, this mimicry can have serious consequences.
The Giants are in a true position to continue their legacy of tolerance – in 1994, they were the first professional sports team to dedicate one game each year to raise money and awareness in the fight against AIDS. And now, with a video in the works and set to be released before Giants’ LGBT Night in August, the Giants’ cultural legacy is all set to become bigger than simply sports.