EXCLUSIVE: The Philadelphia Phillies Will Make an ‘It Gets Better’ Video (UPDATED)
The Philadelphia Phillies have decided to join the ranks of other MLB teams like the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox by producing an “It Gets Better” video, PW has learned.
“We are getting on board with the project and we’ve had some discussions with the project manager,” says Bonnie Clark, Vice President of Communications for the Phillies. “Based on the conversations we had with him, the time frame we’re looking at is probably going to be in conjunction with ‘Back to School.’ Based on what he told us, the ‘Back to School’ time-frame is most effective in getting the word out.”
The manager at ItGetsBetter.org confirmed this, saying, “it looks like they are moving forward,” though declined to provide more details before the video is produced.
Lifelong fan Jerome Hunt, a PhD candidate at Howard University, began an online Petition at Change.org urging the Phillies to produce an It Gets Better video in June. As of the time of this blog, 2,170 people have signed his petition.
It is not yet known which members of the Phillies will be appearing in the video. Updates will appear on this blog as they come in.
Jerome Hunt emails us with the following:
“As a lifelong Phillies fan and partial season ticket holder, I am elated that the Phillies have stepped up as the first major sports organization in Philadelphia to commit to doing an “It Gets Better Video.” This move shows why the Phillies are a first class organization that truly does value every member of the community and strives to make the community as a whole better. Today, I am even more honored to wear my Phillies red because I know that this organization values and respects its LGBT fans, like myself.
“I am humbled by the amount of support that the petition has received from people all across the country. Without their support and passion towards this issue, the Phillies would not be making an “It Gets Better” video. This petition just goes to show how passionate Americans are about extending equality to others and providing a welcoming environment so that all can be free to be who they are. I know that from this video many LGBT youth in the Delaware Valley will be empowered and feel confident to be who they are. Straight allies do make a difference in creating an inclusive and welcoming environment and I am glad the Phillies have once again shown why they are an elite organization who truly cares about the community.”
Kate Stayman-London, Campaign Director at Change.org has sent the following:
“We couldn’t be happier that the Phillies are making an ‘It Gets Better’ video. This sends a clear message to kids in Philadelphia that it’s okay to be exactly who you are; it also helps to create a safer playing environment for LGBT athletes, from high school to professional sports.
“Lifelong Phillies fan Jerome Hunt bravely shared his personal history as a bullying victim when he started his campaign on Change.org asking the Phillies to make an ‘It Gets Better’ video. We’re thrilled and grateful that the Phillies are standing up against the type of bullying Jerome endured.”