The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs will soon have more in common than the 1918 World Series. Both teams announced this weekend that they plan to join the San Francisco Giants in sending messages of support to LGBT young people.
The Windy City Times reports the Cubs' "it gets better" video has been in the works for at least a week, and will be shot when the team returns home from its current 10-game road trip. And having spoken with several Red Sox executives ourselves last week, we can report that the team has also been thinking about ways to send a positive message to its fans about LGBT inclusion for quite some time (several members of the Red Sox were among the first to reach out to Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley when he came out earlier this year.) and that the "it gets better" video (inspired by a 12 year-old fan who started an online petition) will likely be just the start. The team said in a statement:
"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," said Susan Goodenow, Senior Vice President/Public Affairs and Marketing for the Red Sox, in a statement. "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.
While the video will certainly send a wonderful message to LGBT youth themselves, the Red Sox know it's equally important to speak to educators, bystanders, and the bullies themselves. Goodenow said "Our team stands for respect and inclusion – there is no place for discrimination or acts of hatred in Red Sox Nation." We'll be working with them throughout the season to develop ways of communicating this message to all of Red Sox Nation.
We also plan to reach out to the Cubs to thank them for their efforts to send such a positive message, and to offer our support to them.
It's truly an exciting time to be a sports fan and a supporter of the LGBT community.