Dan Savage Pulls 49ers ‘It Gets Better’ Video After 2 Players Deny Participating

Update Feb 1: Columnist and LGBT advocate Dan Savage, the creator of the It Gets Better project, tweeted on Thursday that he has pulled the 49ers video, citing the comments of  Ahmad Brooks and Isaac Sopoaga that they were unaware they were participating in an LGBT-related project.

Original post

After 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver made disparaging comments about gay men in a radio interview on Tuesday, a lot of people pointed to a video that the 49ers released last August for the It Gets Better Project as demonstration of the team’s support for LGBT rights.

But when asked about the video by USA Today, two players who appear in it, linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga, denied ever making such a video.

When told USA TODAY Sports had seen the video and he was in it, Brooks replied, ‘I don’t remember that. I think if I made a video, I’d remember it.’

He was shown the video on an iPhone.

‘Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay (rights) video,’ he said.

When told that studies show that the majority of teens who are bullied are harassed over sexual identity issues, Brooks thought for a second.

‘I know that. I know that,’ he said. ‘Okay, you’re right and I’m wrong. Are you from one of those New York newspapers?'”

Sopoaga also denied being in the video at first, but then declined to comment after  shown the video and being told that it was taped to promote the safety of LGBT youth.

Sopoaga, too, denied making the video, even while teammate Will Tukuafu, who overheard the question, tried to refresh his memory.

“Yeah, you made that video, remember?” Tukuafu said.

“No,” Sopoaga said. “I never went. And now someone is using my name.”

Sopoaga was shown the video.

“What was that for?” he asked.

To ask teens to stop bullying other teens because of sexual identity, he was told.

“Yeah, OK,” he said.

Would you like to comment on it, he was asked.

“No,” he said.

You can read the full story at USAToday.com.

  • Erm

    Sounds like Dan Savage wasn’t straight up with everyone. #duped #horseshit #nexttimebehonest

  • No-censor

    #duped #savageliedtothem #notjustlgbtkidsgetbullied

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.folger Keith Folger

    Every single person involved in an “it gets better” video knows exactly what it is about. Yes, other kids get bullied besides gay kids but the vast majority get bullied based on sexual orientation even if the bullied teen is not actually gay.

  • Trishcuit

    You people who think they were duped by SAVAGE? Get real. Have you seen the video? It was a slick, highly produced video made by the NINERS. The organization made that video- not the foundation. Do you not realize the team & the NFL would not let their players appear in something like that without heavily controlling it? Get real. Savage- and the LGBT were pandered to by the Niner organization for PR. Shame on them.

  • Mike

    I may be grasping at straws, but as a gay Niner fan I’d like to know what precisely the players were asked by the reporters. We’re they asked about participating in a “gay (rights)” video, a homophobia video, a video to protect gay kids from bullying, or just the It Gets Better video? Their confusion and defensiveness may make more sense if it were the first… Straws, man. Straws.

Author

Amanda Stupi

Amanda Stupi is an interactive producer for KQED News. She grew up in Northern California, where her mother would woo her inside on warm summer nights with promises of The Monkees and CHIPS. Stupi is fascinated with the intersection between popular culture and the fine arts. Her idea of artistic perfection includes The Beastie Boys' Check Your Head, Joni Mitchell's Blue, Bull Durham, several episodes of Cheers, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and most of Wallace Stevens' poetry. Stupi's life goals include watching every episode of Law and Order, finishing a screenplay and thanking her mom in an Oscar acceptance speech.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor