Often times as a fan of a sport, we forget about the greater picture of life. We forget that there are people out in the world suffering, that there are crises happening all over the globe, and we even forget what it means to be a community. While that may be true, the San Francisco 49ers have not forgotten that, as they become the first NFL team to join the "It Gets Better" campaign. Following in the footsteps of the San Francisco Giants, the first MLB team to join the campaign, the 49ers will hopefully open up this path for other NFL teams to follow.
As a fan of any sport, it's always a positive message when a team stands together for a constructive cause. The "It Gets Better" campaign is in place to help LGBT youths who are struggling with living life as who they really are. The campaign itself preaches individualism and the importance of not being afraid to be oneself. They display the positivity of life and show the youth just how amazing a life they can have despite being an LGBT youth and really seeing they have a future -- and a bright one at that.
As far as the 49ers' history goes with LGBT issues, the team has had a spotty record. Garrison Hearst once used a slur back in 2002 when stating that he didn't want any gay players in the locker room. Also, 49ers' former trainer Lindsy McLean came out as a gay man after his retirement in 2004 and reported that his treatment by players was, for the most part, with respect.
The 49ers have my admiration for stepping up to the plate and facing an issue head on. They, in no way, shape, or form, were forced to join the campaign despite more than 16,000 signatures being gathered by Sean Chapin to encourage the 49ers to join. Chapin was the same fan who encouraged the Giants to become the first MLB team to join the campaign.
The "It Gets Better" video itself features Donte Whitner, Ricky Jean-Francois, Ahmad Brooks, and Isaac Sopoaga and is posted on the 49ers' Facebook and YouTube accounts. The video conveys a strong message of individuality and is an important one for all youth to hear, not just LGBT youth.
When it comes down to it, despite the 49ers' past incidences, this move is a positive one marked by courage and positive motives. As a representative of the 49ers stated, the campaign is in line with the 49ers' message to "Keep kids safe, on track and in school."
Food for thought: How soon after the 49ers joining do you think other NFL teams may join the campaign? How do you feel about the 49ers stepping up and helping LGBT youth in and around the United States?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions -- all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
HuffingtonPost.com. San Francisco 49ers Join 'It Gets Better' Campaign In Support Of LGBT Youth. NFL 2012.
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