SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco 49ers have become the first National Football League team to join an online movement supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and condemning the harassment and bullying they face.
49ers safety Donte Whitner, defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois, defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga and linebacker Ahmad Brooks appear in a video as part of the It Gets Better Project, created in 2010 in response to a rash of suicides among LGBT teenagers who had been bullied.
The online project has drawn anti-gay bullying video submissions from thousands of people and organizations, including President Obama, Ellen Degeneres, the staffs of Google and Facebook and the San Francisco Giants, which last year became the first Major League Baseball team to join the movement.
The 49ers’ video comes after a petition drive by Niner fan Sean Chapin, who also rallied a similar drive to petition the Giants video.
“This is a proud day for San Francisco, as two of our professional teams have taken a bold stand against bullying,” said Chapin in a press release. “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.”
In the video, Whitner says that each day brings challenges to LGBT youth, but resources are available to help teens struggling with bullying or harassment. “On behalf of the entire 49ers organization, we are on your side, and we promise it gets better,” says Whitner on the video.
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