Not content with just battling opponents on the baseball field, the Seattle Mariners are taking on internet bullies, too, with a new children’s book featuring the team’s star pitcher and their lovable mascot.
“Rise With King Felix #Mooselove,” written by Jarrett Mentink and illustrated by Patrick Carlson, was produced by the team in partnership with Comcast NBCUniversal and will be distributed to kids 14 and under at Sunday’s game at Safeco Field in Seattle.
The book stars Felix Hernandez and the Mariner Moose and serves as a resource for parents and children who may encounter cyberbullying and are looking for a positive way to respond.
The Moose is the victim in the book. He gets bullied by a fictional mascot named The Titan, who posts an embarrassing photo of the Moose on the outfield video screen for all to see. Hernandez plays the part of the hero, standing up for his friend and taking down The Titan with the help of other Mariners players. Mariners fans also show their support, by letting everyone know there’s no haters allowed at Safeco.
“The book’s storyline promotes being an ‘upstander’ versus a bystander in bullying situations,” said Amy Lynch, regional VP of Comcast in Washington. “Both we and the Mariners know that children today can be badly affected by bullying. We hope the tools and examples in this book can help children create positive outcomes.”
In an ever-connected world, especially for kids on social media, online bullying is a top safety concern. From mean texts to sharing photos and gossip, kids who are targeted can suffer anxiety and depression and are more likely to skip school and get poor grades.
“Anytime you can take an athlete that kids look up to and respect, and share that positive message via that athlete, I think it’s going to reach kids that otherwise might not be reached,” said Mentink, who has written nine children’s books on a variety of topics.