Just days after the San Francisco Giants became the first pro sports team to release an 'It Gets Better' video to combat homophobia in sports, the Chicago Cubs have announced they will record a video at the end of their current road trip. The Cubs have embraced the gay community, including donations (enumerated in their press release below), an appearance in last year's Chicago Gay Pride parade, and the coming-out of team owner Laura Ricketts. Fans of many other teams, including the Mets, Yankees, Twins and Red Sox (9,000 Boston fans have signed this one!), have started online petitions asking them to follow suit.
Read the Cubs' release here:
The Chicago Cubs will produce an "It Gets Better" video, which takes a stand against anti-gay bullying and homophobia. The project has been in the works for more than a week and is set to be filmed after the team returns to Wrigley Field from its current 10-game road trip. The Cubs will be the second professional sports team to participate in the "It Gets Better" campaign following the San Francisco Giants who released their video earlier this week.
"The Cubs applaud the Giants for their stand against anti-LGBT bullying. Bullying of anyone for any reason is unacceptable," said Laura Ricketts, Cubs owner and board member. "We are proud to join the Giants in taking a stand against bullying and encourage other professional sports organizations to do the same."
More than 10,000 "It Gets Better" videos have been produced since syndicated columnist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the project in September 2010, in response to an epidemic of teen suicides by gay kids and kids perceived to be gay. The Cubs have a long history of support in the LGBT community. In 2010, Cubs owner Laura Ricketts and Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, headlined the team's float in Chicago's annual Pride Parade. Chicago's Windy City Times will again host an annual Pride Day at Wrigley Field in September of this year. Recent team donations have supported Cubs Care Courts, the gymnasium at Lake View's Center on Halsted ( $30,000 in 2011 ) and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( $50,000 in 2009 ) as well as many other organizations serving the LGBT community.
Hat tip to Ross Forman.