49ers become first NFL team to film ‘It Gets Better’ video
The 49ers became the first NFL team to film an “It Gets Better” video in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender teens. The video includes appearances from Donte Whitner, Ahmad Brooks, Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois, who encourage LGBT youths by telling them their lives will get better.
According to The Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, the 49ers players filmed the video in the spring after fan Sean Chapin ammassed more than 16,000 signatures on Change.org asking the team to make one. Chapin also successfully encouraged the San Francisco Giants to become the first MLB team to produce an “It Gets Better” video.
“The It Gets Better Project was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years,” the project’s website says. “The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.”
The 49ers uploaded the video to their YouTube account and shared it via Facebook, but they do not have plans to play it during games. A team spokesman said the anti-bullying message fits the mission of the 49ers Foundation to “Keep kids safe, on track and in school,” per Barrows.
We applaud the 49ers for making the video. This is a progressive step for a league dominated by male camaraderie and machismo, and where hazing still exists. Even though some current NFL players have expressed anti-gay thoughts recently, there are many more who say they would support a gay teammate.