Rapper Macklemore made a surprise appearance at the Seattle Mariners’ launch of the anti-bullying #ChangeTheGame campaign.
Students from Bellevue’s Highland Middle School were stunned to find out their co-stars in the public service announcement would be Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez and Seattle’s own Macklemore.
The stunt astonished the children who were told they would be launching the campaign to stop bullying with the Mariner Moose at the Safeco Field. But they were blown away when Hernandez, in his Mariner uniform, skipped out of the bullpen, shortly followed by the Grammy Award winner.
In a press release published by MLB.com, Macklemore said: “It’s an honour to be working with the Mariners and Felix Hernandez to help spread a message of individuality to our schools.“We hope to encourage our youth to feel free, to be themselves and to take care of each other.”
Macklemore, who grew up and still lives in Seattle, picked up four Grammy Awards in January for his 2012 album ‘The Heist’ and the album includes the song ‘My Oh My’, a tribute to the late Hall of Fame Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus.
Macklemore is also a huge supporter of Seattle-based sport teams. The rapper recently performed with Ryan Lewis at the NFC Championship halftime show at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle when the Seahawks overcame the San Francisco 49ners on their way to Super Bowl victory last year.
The students gave a bigger reaction to the music star rather than their four-time all-star pitcher.
Speaking to MLB.com seventh grade student Matai Patten said: “I was like ‘Oh my god’, we were just taking pictures with the Moose.”
Patten’s sister Jazmine added: “He was more surprising because Felix is on the baseball team but Macklemore just came out of nowhere.”
Hernandez laughed off comments about Macklemore getting the biggest cheer and was happy to be a part of the cause.
"The club talked to me about it and I was like, 'All right, let's do this,' because it's important for me to give a message to the kids to just be themselves,” Hernandez explained. “I think they have to feel free and safe in school."
The #ChangeTheGame campaign will include a 30-second public service announcement which will be broadcast on radio and television stations across Western America.
Posters and guides will also be given to teachers, parents and students to raise awareness about bullying as well as a contest to meet Macklemore and Hernandez when Seattle face the Yankees in New York on June 12th.
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