The NBA is joining the Ad Council and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network to launch a new effort targeting anti-gay language among teens. The PSAs, which will debut May 15 during the NBA Conference Finals on ABC, TNT and ESPN, feature the Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill and Jared Dudley.
The campaign, including TV, radio, print and Web, was created pro bono by ArnoldNYC. It's an extension of the Ad Council's "Think Before You Speak" and GLSEN's "Changing the Game" efforts.
Almost 90% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender teens say they have been verbally harassed in the past school year, while almost half have been physically harassed, according to GLSEN's 2009 National School Climate Survey.
The new effort tells teens that using words such as "gay" in a negative way can have serious consequences, showing that using such terms to say something is dumb or stupid is not acceptable on the basketball court or anywhere else. The PSAs tell audiences to visit ThinkB4YouSpeak.com for more information and to take a pledge against using anti-LGBT language.
"We've partnered with GLSEN and the Ad Council on 'Think Before You Speak' for several years, and while we're proud to be able to turn our energy and talent toward changing negative behavior, there is unfortunately a lot more work to be done," said John Staffen, chief creative officer, ArnoldNYC, in announcing the effort. "The NBA deserves big kudos for stepping up to the plate and being a part of this important dialogue."
"Think Before You Speak," the Ad Council's first LGBT-themed campaign, has received more than $17.6 million worth of media exposure since its launch in 2008.