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NBA LEGEND SHAQUILLE O'NEAL SPEAKS OUT AGAINST ANTI-GAY BULLYING IN NEW PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

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Basketball star, NBA join forces with GLAAD and American Federation of Teachers

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

Amanda Thorn
Director of Marketing Communications, NBA
(212) 407-8477
athorn@nba.com

October 18, 2011

New York, NY, October 18, 2011 – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, today unveiled a new public service announcement (PSA) featuring NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal speaking out against anti-LGBT bullying. The PSA, produced in partnership with the NBA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), is part of GLAAD’s new ‘Amplify Your Voice!’ PSA series, a campaign that encourages viewers to help put a stop to bullying in America’s schools.

“Millions of gay and transgender youth are made to feel like they don’t fit in every day,” says O’Neal in the new spots, set to air nationally. “No matter who you are, you have the power to make a difference.” The PSA concludes with Shaq directing viewers to GLAAD’s website, where anti-bullying resource kits are offered for students, parents and teachers.

The PSA is viewable here: glaad.org/amplifyyourvoice. Media interested in posting the videos can find instructions here. Comcast will serve as a leading media partner for the PSA campaign, contributing $3 million in national airtime and bringing this important message to more than 20 million homes over the next year.

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is also sharing the PSA with members.

“The NBA and Shaquille O’Neal are changing the landscape of sports by reminding players and fans that homophobia and anti-gay bullying are unacceptable – whether on the court, or in the classroom,” said Mike Thompson, Acting President of GLAAD.

Other celebrity talent that have participated in the campaign include ‘Jersey Shore’s’ Vinny, Russell Simmons, Rev. Al Sharpton, Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Kristin Chenoweth, Chaz Bono, Naya Rivera, Mario Lopez, Ariel Winter, the cast of ABC Family’s ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and more. Young people from the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center’s Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program are also featured in the campaign.

In addition to the PSA series, GLAAD is helping millions of Americans ‘go purple’ in support of LGBT youth for Spirit Day on October 20. Conan O’Brien, hosts from CNN, CNN, E!, MSNBC, CNBC the Dr. Drew Show, and The Talk are among the celebrities who will be wearing purple on-air; and for only the second time in the network’s 30 year history, MTV will change the color of its on-air logo in honor of Spirit Day. For a list of other celebrity participants, media outlets, TV networks, organizations and corporations participating in Spirit Day, visit www.glaad.org/spiritday.

Additional PSAs featuring talent from the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) will be released in the coming weeks. Stars of the WWE are also taking a stand against bullying by wearing purple on Spirit Day.