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Petition calls on Atlanta Braves to make ‘It Gets Better’ video

Atlanta Braves

The San Francisco Giants were the first professional sports team to participate in the “It Gets Better” campaign. Now, online activists are hoping other teams will follow in the Giants' footsteps.

Saturday, the Boston Red Sox announced that they would create a video for the popular anti-bullying campaign “It Gets Better” after 12-year-old Sam Maden's online petition to the team received tens of thousands of digital signatures in a matter of days.

The Chicago Cubs have committed to making a video, as well.

After Maden's success, Change.org has been flooded with petitions for professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves. Created late last night by Alan Thacker, the petition targeting the Braves calls for the organization to take a stand against homophobia in sports:

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Atlanta Braves ask Georgia Equality for plan of action to deal with homophobia, bullying

Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz sat down with Georgia Equality Executive Director Jeff Graham and representatives from PFLAG today to discuss ways the club could work to end bullying in schools and address homophobia in its ranks.

The meeting comes after Georgia Equality hand-delivered a letter to Schuerholz on April 28 following the news that pitching coach Roger McDowell allegedly shouted at fans on April 23 at San Francisco AT&T Park, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and imitated a sex act with a baseball bat. McDowell was also accused of threatening a father who asked him to watch his language in front of children.

The meeting today between Schuerholz, Graham and Jeannie Senter, a member of the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and PFLAG, lasted a full hour and Graham said he feels the club has a genuine concern about mending bridges with the LGBT community.

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Braves coach Roger McDowell to talk publicly about anti-gay incident

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell is expected to speak out today about the recent incident where he allegedly shouted anti-gay slurs at San Francisco Giants fans and threatened a father.

A press conference was slated for 2 p.m. today at Turner Stadium. McDowell returns to the team today as the Braves take on the Philadelphia Phillies after a two-week suspension from Major League Baseball. McDowell was suspended after he was accused of shouting, “Are you a homo couple or a threesome?” at Giants fans on April 23. McDowell also allegedly used a baseball bat to simulate a sex act.

When a father, Justin Quinn, asked McDowell to watch his language in front of children, McDowell allegedly patted a baseball bat in his palm and asked, “How much are your teeth worth?”

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AJC sports writer speaks out on Braves’ Roger McDowell anti-gay incident

Atlanta Journal-Constitution sportswriter Jeff Schultz

Jeff Schultz, sports writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has covered the Atlanta Braves — and all other Atlanta sports teams — for years.

When news broke that Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was accused of using anti-gay slurs against San Francisco Giants fans on April 23 at the San Francisco ballpark, Schultz wrote that the coach should be suspended at least 30 days.

“He needs to be hit with a suspension, and hit hard. The absolute minimum: 30 games without pay, a significant fine and court-mandated Saying Stupid Things Rehab. If even half what has been alleged is true, most of us would be fired,” Schultz wrote.

When McDowell was suspended by Major League Baseball for two weeks, Schultz said McDowell should consider himself "lucky."

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Homophobia still accepted in pro sports?

International rugby superstar Ben Cohen

Ben Cohen is a ruggedly handsome man who is not afraid to pose shirtless — thrilling many gay men around the world who may not know anything about rugby, but do admire a beautiful body.

Cohen, a U.K. rugby champion who is straight, married and has twin daughters, said he has no qualms with being a “gay icon.”

“That’s fine by me,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Northamptonshire, England.

But Cohen wants to use his notoriety in a way other professional athletes have not. His main cause off the pitch is helping LGBT youth, as well as eliminating homophobia from athletics.

“I’ve never seen a straight athlete do this before. I’m really passionate about this,” he said.

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Jon Stewart on Atlanta Braves pitching coach’s anti-gay flap

Jon Stewart takes on Roger McDowell anti-gay flap

Last night on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” host Jon Stewart highlighted several recent LGBT news issues, including the recent anti-gay remarks from Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell aimed at fans over Easter weekend in San Francisco. Stewart has been all over the gaydar this week.

McDowell was suspended for the incident but will return to the dugout this Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves were 7-4 during McDowell's suspension, in case you were wondering.

Stewart took the obvious route and poked fun at attorney Gloria Allred and her interesting press conference with John Quinn, the man who alleged McDowell made anti-gay remarks and threatening gestures directed toward him and another group of men. The segment was funny nonetheless.

Check out the video below:

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Georgia Equality demands more local action from Atlanta Braves after coach accused of anti-gay slurs

Georgia Equality commended Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves for taking swift action against Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell after he was accused of hurling anti-gay slurs at San Francisco Giants fans over Easter weekend. But the statewide LGBT advocacy group says more local action needs to occur.

McDowell was suspended by Major League Baseball for two weeks without pay (he returns to his duties on May 13), ordered to participate in sensitivity training, and fined an undisclosed amount of money for his actions at San Francisco AT&T Park on April 23. McDowell allegedly shouted at fans, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and imitated a sex act with a baseball bat. He also threatened a father who witnessed McDowell's actions and asked the Braves pitching coach to watch his language in front of children.

McDowell has publicly apologized for the outburst.

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McDowell controversy reminiscent of past Atlanta Braves anti-gay fouls

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz once compared homosexuality to beastialityThe news of Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell being put on administrative leave over alleged anti-gay slurs hurled at San Francisco Giants fans last weekend is just one of several incidents the team has had to answer for with LGBT fans.

McDowell was put on administrative leave today after allegedly shouting at several San Francisco Giants fans, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and then imitating a sex act with a baseball bat. The coach also allegedly threatened the father of twin daughters who said he witnessed the incident and asked the coach to watch his language in front of children.

In 1999, former Braves relief pitcher John Rocker was quoted in a 1999 Sports Illustrated profile of him saying why he would never play in New York.

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Braves coach put on admin leave after allegations he used anti-gay slurs

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell has been placed on administrative leave in the fallout of allegations he used anti-gay slurs against San Francisco Giants fans over Easter weekend.

John Quinn stated at a press conference on Wednesday that McDowell shouted at some fans, "Are you a homo couple or a threesome?" and then imitated a sex act using a baseball bat.

Quinn, who attended the game on Saturday at San Francisco AT&T Park with his twin 9-year-old daughters, also alleged that McDowell threatened him after he asked the coach to watch his language in front of children. Quinn is represented by high-profile attorney Gloria Allred.