We were all in on the secret: Students from Bellevue's Highland Middle School arrived at Safeco Field to help participate in the filming of an anti-bullying campaign starring the Mariner Moose, completely unaware that waiting in the wings to surprise them were hip-hop star Macklemore and Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez.
As the youngersters surrounded homeplate, Mariner Moose did three different takes for the camera before the director called for extra help. Hernandez appeared. Kids screamed. They do another take starring King Felix, yet it still missed the mark. That's when Hernandez called "for his friend Mack." Macklemore appeared. Kids screamed again (much louder and with more mouths agape).
It is at this point that I fully display my lack of modern-day (older person/non-parent ignorance?) knowledge: Every kid whipped out a candy-colored cell phone. Every single one. Raise your hand if you didn't know middle schoolers posessed iPhones. (*raises hand*)
After rounds of selfies and high-fives and group photos, they began filming the 30-second #ChangeTheGame public service announcement (PSA), which targets middle school students in Washington. In the PSA, Macklemore and Hernandez encourage students to "be kind, stay positive, and support each other" and ask students to sign an anti-bullying pledge. The announcement ends with this: "Together, we can change the game."
The PSA will be distributed to radio and TV stations throughout Western Washington. Partnering with the Mariners on the #ChangeTheGame campaign are the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center, the Committee for Children, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Western District of Washington, among others.