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MLB stars lend voices to campaign to stop bullying and 'choose kindness'

Nolan Arenado, Javier Báez, Mookie Betts, Sean Doolittle, Aaron Judge, Francisco Lindor, George Springer, Mike Trout and Justin Verlander part of "SHRED HATE" effort during October

Thirty-one All-Star Appearances, Three League MVP Awards, Three World Series Rings, Three Rookie of the Year Awards, One Cy Young Award, One World Series MVP and One LCS MVP. These on-field achievements are credited to some of Baseball's biggest stars who have accepted a new role in a bullying prevention public service announcement (PSA) campaign in support of MLB and ESPN's ongoing Shred Hate initiative. (www.MLB.com/ShredHate).

Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies), Javier Báez (Chicago Cubs), Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox), Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals), Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians), George Springer (Houston Astros), Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) and Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) have all lent their considerable voices in this Shred Hate PSA effort as Baseball observes October as "National Bullying Prevention Month." Shred Hate is an innovative joint program between ESPN, MLB & X Games striving to put an end to bullying in schools by encouraging youth to choose kindness.

Thirty-one All-Star Appearances, Three League MVP Awards, Three World Series Rings, Three Rookie of the Year Awards, One Cy Young Award, One World Series MVP and One LCS MVP. These on-field achievements are credited to some of Baseball's biggest stars who have accepted a new role in a bullying prevention public service announcement (PSA) campaign in support of MLB and ESPN's ongoing Shred Hate initiative. (www.MLB.com/ShredHate).

Nolan Arenado (Colorado Rockies), Javier Báez (Chicago Cubs), Mookie Betts (Boston Red Sox), Sean Doolittle (Washington Nationals), Aaron Judge (New York Yankees), Francisco Lindor (Cleveland Indians), George Springer (Houston Astros), Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) and Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) have all lent their considerable voices in this Shred Hate PSA effort as Baseball observes October as "National Bullying Prevention Month." Shred Hate is an innovative joint program between ESPN, MLB & X Games striving to put an end to bullying in schools by encouraging youth to choose kindness.

The "All-Star" list of players (Arenado, Báez, Betts, Doolittle, Judge, Lindor, Trout & Verlander) all taped their PSA - titled "Join Our Team" - at Nationals Park prior to the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (Tuesday, July 17th). The concept was created by ESPN Creative Works to have a diverse collection of baseball's biggest names as well as feature Clubs who are officially partners in the Shred Hate initiative (e.g., Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Angels and Washington Nationals). This PSA will debut on-air on ESPN on Friday, September 28th during the network's afternoon and evening MLB Broadcasts. The :30 second spot also will air during ESPN's broadcast of the National League Wild Card Game presented by Hankook on Tuesday, October 2nd. It will continue to appear on ESPN throughout October. The PSA will also air on MLB Network and appear on @MLB social media, MLB.com & Club sites, and PlayBall.org.

Springer, the reigning World Series MVP, taped his PSA in November 2017 at ESPN's studios in Bristol, Conn. Springer has continued to overcome his own personal experience with a stutter, and has been a major advocate for SAY (The Stuttering Association for the Young) while also regularly speaking out against bullying. This PSA will debut exclusively on @MLB social media, MLB.com, Astros.com and PlayBall.org.

George Springer said: "I went through the ups and downs from being made fun of. Sports allowed me to do and be who I wanted to be, to participate and speak freely, and to come out of my shell. I want kids and adults to be themselves. Being who you want to be, and being who you are, is the most important thing in this world. Don't let anybody stop you from that."

Mike Trout said: "No one deserves to be bullied. Let's work together so all kids know they have a voice. It's time to choose kindness!"

Francisco Lindor said: "Shred Hate is delivering a really important message. Over 10 million kids per year are targets of bullying in schools and even more are targeted on social media. No one deserves to be bullied and it's up to all of us to make sure it doesn't happen."

Mookie Betts said: "The Shred Hate initiative addresses a serious issue no kid should ever have to endure. There's nothing cool about being a bully, and we all have an obligation to make sure kids understand that this type of behavior, whether online or in person, cannot be tolerated. It's time we replace bullying with kindness and acceptance."

Sean Doolittle said: "I'm really excited to be a part of the Shred Hate campaign. It is staggering to learn that nearly one in four students are victims of bullying and cyberbullying and the work of non-profits like No Bully is essential to eradicate this epidemic. I am impressed by their model for education, training, and monitoring as well as their process for creating positive environments for students."

Aaron Judge said: "I don't want to be defined only as a baseball player. There are a lot of things off the field that make me who I am. I want to be someone that helps spread the message that every kid should feel respected and understood. That's the kind of mark I want to leave. I want to be a positive influence and a role model for kids."

Nolan Arenado said: "It's very important to me to be part of this campaign to speak out against bullying. As a Major Leaguer, I know we have an opportunity to use our platforms to be a positive force for change. Every kid deserves to be treated with kindness, and I hope kids all across the country receive that message loud and clear from me and my fellow players."

"We are incredibly appreciative of each of these All-Stars whose participation in this campaign to end bullying will have an impact on children throughout our country for years to come," said Billy Bean, Vice President & Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Major League Baseball. "Our sport has a unique opportunity to impact lives and help our youth re-define the school experience through the foundations of respect, kindness and dignity. We are fortunate to have some of baseball's very best join us as we continue to battle against this epidemic."

Shred Hate was launched in January 2017 at X Games Aspen and has since reached nearly 30,000 students. Historically, the No Bully System® methodology, which is implemented in schools through the Shred Hate initiative, has been able to remediate more than 90% of bullying instances. Five MLB Clubs currently support Shred Hate in-school bullying prevention efforts for the 2018-2019 Academic School Year, including the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers, adding to the Clubs that took part in 2017-18 (Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Washington Nationals).

Through Shred Hate, No Bully, a nonprofit that trains schools how to activate student compassion to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying, will work directly with local school districts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Dallas. This is in addition to No Bully continuing its work with schools in Colorado and Minneapolis/St. Paul, and providing continued learning opportunities to existing Shred Hate schools in Chicago and Washington D.C. Nearly 60,000 students will be reached through the program in the next academic year.

A new out-of-school Shred Hate­ module also has been developed for use in after-school and summer programs, or wherever youth may experience bullying. The lessons, available for download at www.MLB.com/ShredHate, are designed to last approximately 20-30 minutes each and are complementary to the No Bully System® in-school methodology. MLB plans to utilize the out-of-school module through RBI programs nationwide as well as through its MLB Youth Academy network in multiple cities throughout the United States. Since its launch in August 2018, the module has been downloaded by 75 unique organizations, benefitting nearly 40,000 youth in out-of-school environments. Also launching this academic year, will be a Shred Hate module specifically designed to train student athletes and coaches to be champions against bullying. These athletes will learn how to be "upstanders" and lead schools in their bullying prevention efforts.

Through Shred Hate, cooperating schools and youth-focused programs utilize the "No Bully System®," a non-disciplinary, innovative model that guides K-12 school leaders, teachers, and youth sports administrators through an integrated series of leadership coaching sessions, teacher trainings and parent workshops to create and sustain a bully-free culture for the long term. The No Bully System® provides an alternative to suspension or discipline, and rather promotes an environment revolving around cooperation and respect to ensure compliance with state and federal anti-bullying laws. A No Bully facilitator, who will be assigned to each participating school and program, will travel to administer trainings around the No Bully Coaching Leadership Team Guide and be available throughout the program for support.

Program monitoring and evaluation will play a central role in Shred Hate. Key performance indicators will include, but are not limited to, the following: reduced solution of incidents of bullying, reduction of severity and incidents of bullying, active student engagement in solutions, active parent/guardian and community engagement in bullying resolution, and additional positive shifts in behavior.

In a study by the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Education, nearly one in four students - more than 10 million total students - report being bullied each year in the United States.

About No Bully
No Bully® is a nonprofit organization that ignites compassion to eradicate bullying and cyberbullying worldwide. Founded in San Francisco in 2003 and formalized as a nonprofit organization in 2009, No Bully was started by a collaborative team of educators, psychologists and lawyers committed to building a kinder and more compassionate world through ending the crisis of bullying, harassment and violence in schools and online. Since its founding, No Bully has had over a 90 percent success rate eliminating bullying in schools and has served over 325 schools, 202,000 students and 16,000 teachers by partnering with institutions, families, parents and students to teach the healthy use of power by empowering voice, compassion toward others and inclusivity. For more information, visit www.nobully.org.

About ESPN Corporate Citizenship
ESPN believes that, at its very best, sports uplift the human spirit. Its corporate citizenship programs use power of sport to positively address society's needs through strategic community investments, cause marketing programs, collaboration with sports organizations and employee volunteerism, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. For more information go to www.espn.com/citizenship.

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