The Seattle Mariners have responded to a fan petition urging the team to join the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants in creating an "It Gets Better" video. The Giants were the first professional sports team to participate in the campaign campaign, recording a spot discouraging gay youth from committing suicide and providing support to those growing up in the LGBT community. Shortly thereafter, the Cubs and Red Sox followed suit, recording their own video. That's when Eric Williams, an openly gay Iraq war veteran from Tacoma, stepped in and created an online petition in an effort to get the Mariners to join the cause.
On Thursday, the Mariners announced they would become the fourth MLB team to produce a video, following in the footsteps on the Giants and others. Rebecca Hale, the Mariners' Director of Public Information, said the decision was made independent of the petition, and has been in the works for quite some time.
"We didn't get convinced to do it because of a petition," Hale says. "It was something that was on our radar since the Giants' video."
For an example of what you can expect, here is the Giants' It Gets Better video.
The campaign itself is great. Sports are about more than what we see on the field and teams have a significant impact on the community they occupy. Players are mentors, community service is a must and the collective voice of these teams can leave a lasting impression on those they touch.
By taking a stand and participating in the "It Gets Better" campaign, the Mariners are setting a positive example, both in Seattle and nation-wide. It's a snowball effect as more teams, business and groups get on-board and try to stop homosexual youth from taking their own lives while extending a hand and lending support. In the scheme of it all, baseball is a blip on the radar; this is about life.
You can find more on the project at the It Gets Better website.