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Members of the Super Bowl-bound San Francisco 49ers were praised last August for taking a stand against bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity when they appeared in an “It Gets Better Project” video.
Linebacker Ahmad Brooks and nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga were among the players who took part, but asked about the video this week, the two denied appearing in it.
“I didn’t make any video,” Brooks told USA Today. “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.”
The players were asked about their participation in the campaign because their teammate Chris Culliver had made homophobic comments during an interview with radio host Artie Lange.
When Brooks was shown the video on an iPhone, he said he wasn’t aware it was aimed at LGBT youth.
“Oh, that. It was an anti-bullying video, not a gay (rights) video,” he said.
Sopoaga also initially denied appearing in the video. When he was shown the spot, he asked what it was for and was told it was to ask teenagers not to bully their peers because of their sexual orientation.
Shortly after, “It Gets Better” co-founder Dan Savage tweeted the organization has removed the 49ers video from its website.
The 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s big game. Kick-off for Super Bowl XLVII, being broadcast on CBS, is set for 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET. The event will feature Alicia Keys singing the national anthem as well as a halftime performance from Beyonce. Jennifer Hudson will be joined by the chorus from Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing “America the Beautiful.”
Watch the 49ers anti-bullying video below.
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