Sounders Roger Levesque and Mike Fucito have joined members of the Seahawks, Mariners and Storm in producing a video for the “It Gets Better” effort to reduce teen suicides and bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens.
“We do have a good rapport with the community I think and probably have the ability to have a positive affect on people,” Fucito said after training today. “And if we can do good like that, that’s just as important as on the field, for sure.”
The four major professional sports teams in Seattle have joined together to create a video message for the “It Gets Better Project.” Players from the Seattle Storm, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Mariners are featured in the video, which was posted today on YouTube, the individual team
websites, and was submitted today to www.itgetsbetter.org.
The participating players are center/forward Lauren Jackson and forward Swin Cash of the Storm, forwards Mike Fucito and Roger Levesque of the Sounders, wide receiver Mike Williams of the Seahawks, and relief pitcher Brandon League and infielder Brendan Ryan of the Mariners.
“As far as we can tell, this is the first time a community’s professional sports teams have joined together to take a stand on this important issue. We are proud to be part of it,” said Chuck Armstrong, Seattle Mariners President and COO.
“The messages in the video are core values of our organization, so it was easy for us to agree that the Storm would participate,” said Karen Bryant, Seattle Storm President and CEO.
“We believe our role in the community is very important,” said Seahawks and Sounders FC president Peter McLoughlin. “This video provided an opportunity for all the professional teams to come together and offer a message of hope and encouragement to our young fans.”
The It Gets Better Project and website were launched in Seattle last fall by syndicated columnist Dan Savage in response to a startling number of teen suicides and bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens. In the months since, tens of thousands of individuals and organizations have posted
videos that offer encouragement and support to LGBT youth.
The video was produced courtesy of ROOT SPORTS.
Here’s part of what Levesque had to say about the effort:
“It’s just to support the youth of today, I would say. We’ve all been growing up and at times it can be difficult. It’s just to let kids know that it does get better. There are more positive things to look forward to, and whatever you can hold on to to be positive is great.”
On if he was ever bullied as a child: “I think everyone has good days and bad days,” he said. “Growing up is a difficult time, whether it’s friendships or at home, I think everyone has some growing to do, and it’s how you come out of those situations that really defines who you are: getting through them and maybe looking forward to some positive days ahead goes a long way towards that.”
On if hearing this message from a professional athlete can make a difference: “I think everybody has their role models and everybody has different people that they look to for support. If it’s a parent, a friend, an older brother or sister, or if it’s a professional athlete, whoever it is, as long as that message gets across, I think that’s the important thing.”