In response to an October 10th tweet from New England Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes, MassEquality has called on Spikes, and the New England Patriots team, to produce an It Gets Better video. MassEquality's Executive Director Karen Sufredini, pointing out in a statement that the tweet took place in the middle of National Anti-Bullying Month, noted the need to focus on "continued action to make all people, particularly young people, feel safer."
She goes on to say;
For too long anti-LGBT putdowns—whether they are made on the playground or on social media—have been simply laughed off. But bullying is not a joke. In Massachusetts, which as the first state in the nation to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples is seen as a beacon of equality for the rest of the nation, one-third of Massachusetts gay, lesbian, and bisexual students report that they’ve experienced bullying.
LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, and eight times more likely to when their families reject them; up to 40 percent of our unaccompanied homeless youth population identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and the vast majority of them are living alone on the streets because their families have, in fact, rejected them. Gay and bisexual men represent four out of 10 new diagnoses of HIV, and the state Department of Public Health reports that the mere fact of being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Massachusetts results in higher stress and poorer health outcomes.
Failing to take seriously offensive remarks by public figures is one of the reasons why we see statistics like those. If Brandon Spikes is serious about the fact that he was joking, then let him prove it by making an 'It Gets Better' video. In fact, we like to see the New England Patriots join the Boston Red Sox in making an 'It Gets Better' video. That would send a tremendous message to Pats fans everywhere that there is no place for bullying on the sports field or off.
While quite a few professional sports teams have produced It Gets Better video’s, so far the only Boston based professional team to do so is the Boston Red Sox.
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