The Boston Red Sox baseball team will become the third pro sports franchise to record a video for the It Gets Better Project after a young fan petitioned the Sox to do so.
Sam Maden (pictured), a 12-year-old Sox fan, petitioned the team via Change.org to create a video for the project, founded by Dan Savage and Terry Miller as a way to fight antigay bullying and teen suicide by letting young LGBT people know that life does get better. Maden conceived his petition campaign as a way to honor an uncle who died unexpectedly in January.
About 9,000 people, mostly Red Sox fans from New England, signed Maden's petition, according to a news release from Change.org. Team executives announced over the weekend that the Sox would make a video. The news release quoted a statement from Susan Goodenow, the team's senior vice president for public affairs and marketing:
"We are proud of dedicated Red Sox fans like 12-year-old Sam Maden who have taken the courageous step of publicly standing up against bullying of LGBT youth. The Red Sox have frequently done PSA videos, or public service announcement videos, on important social issues. We are currently producing an 'It Gets Better' video to support the It Gets Better campaign to stop bullying of LGBT youth and teen suicides. We hope that when it is released it will both reflect our continued commitment to be active participants in the community and help advance the efforts of Sam and others to stop bullying. Our team stands for respect and inclusion -- there is no place for discrimination or acts of hatred in Red Sox Nation."
Last week the San Francisco Giants became the first pro sports team to release an "It Gets Better" video, and Chicago Cubs officials announced their team would follow suit. More than 10,000 videos have been produced for the campaign, featuring notables including President Obama, since its launch in September.