The video features Kevin Youkilis, Terry Francona, and Jason Varitek.
The Red Sox are the third major league team to produce an "It Gets Better" video. Earlier this year, the San Francisco Giants became the first professional sports team to join the It Gets Better campaign. The Chicago Cubs have also made a video.
It is fantastic that the Red Sox have done this - and we have Sam Maden, a 12-year-old Sox fan from Nashua, New Hampshire, to thank. Maden circulated an online petition in honour of his uncle, Chris Nutile, a supporter of the Trevor Project, who died unexpectedly earlier this year at age 43. It began:
Greetings, Boston Red Sox. Every day, gay and lesbian teens in middle school and high school are made fun of and bullied. It's sad that some of them are bullied so badly, they commit suicide. There are videos on YouTube called "It Gets Better" that tell young people it is OK to be who they are.Sam received 5,000 signatures in the first 24 hours.
My name is Sam, I am 12 years old and my two friends and I really like the Boston Red Sox. We have looked up ways to change our community, and our country. On YouTube and Facebook you can see examples of "It Gets Better" videos. There are hundreds. So please, can you make a video to help young gay and lesbian teens? You can help us save lives one teen at a time.
This is something I can do to honor him. Uncle Chris knew how much I love the Red Sox and I think he would have been thrilled with the team making an "It Gets Better" video to support kids. ... I would like to see Dustin Pedroia in it because he is my favorite player and Jason Varitek because he is the captain of the team and seen as the leader of the Red Sox.Pedroia is not in the video, although Varitek is.
Anything a team does in support of this cause should be applauded, but I find it odd (and discouraging) that only two players from the team participated in the video. Also, Yook, Tito, and Tek were on screen for (by my rough count) only 18 of the PSA's 60 seconds. (There are four other people in the video, with various connections to the Red Sox.)
By contrast, take a look at the Giants' remarkable video. There are only three players predominantly featured (though five appear), but it is much stronger and more direct in its language, and they are the only ones on screen for the entire video. The Red Sox should have given Youkilis, Varitek, and Francona more screen time.