In August, the 49ers became the first NFL team to participate in the “It Gets Better” project, which addresses online videos to gay youths to reassure them that their lives will get better in adulthood. But now two of the four players who appeared in the video say they didn’t know what they were signing on for.
“I didn’t make any video,” Brooks said. “This is America and if someone wants to be gay, they can be gay. It’s their right. But I didn’t make any video.”
When Brooks was then shown the video, he said he remembered making it but it had nothing to do with gay youth.
“Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay [rights] video,” he said.
Sopoaga also said he didn’t have any recollection of participating in a video aimed at gay youth.
“No,” Sopoaga said. “I never went. And now someone is using my name.”
The video shows Brooks, Sopoaga, Ricky Jean-Francois and Donte Whitner encouraging young people, but only Whitner alludes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. It’s possible that the other players didn’t fully understand what they were being asked to get involved in.
Dan Savage, the writer who started the It Gets Better project after a spate of suicides of gay young people who had been bullied in school, said on Twitter that he would remove the 49ers video from the It Gets Better project.