You Can Play Project: Teaming Up for Respect

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You Can Play

You Can Play makes hockey fun for everyone—regardless of gender identity

 

 

 

Sport has a unique way of uniting people, igniting friendships, and changing lives. You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches, and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on an athlete’s skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The organization strives to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success. They seek to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.

 

History

You Can Play was launched in 2012 by Patrick Burke of the NHL, along with Brian Kitts, a sports and entertainment marketing executive, and Glenn Witman of GForce Sports. Brendan Burke, the brother of Patrick Burke and son of Brian Burke, longtime NHL team executive, made international headlines when he came out as gay in 2009. A few months after he came out, Brendan died in a car accident. You Can Play was founded in Brendan Burke’s honor.

The group’s Director of Professional Sports Outreach, Wade Davis, is a former NFL player and one of the few openly gay men to have played pro sports. Wade was a defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, and two NFL Europe teams. The Vice President of Program Development, Chris Mosier, is a triathlete and duathlete and the first transgender man to make a men’s US National Team. He is the founder of TransAthlete.com, has advocated for policy change from the elite to the high school level, and is a leading voice in the movement for transgender and LGBTQ inclusion in sport.

 

Partnerships

Their partners include the National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Player’s Association (NHLPA), National Football League (NFL), Canadian Football League (CFL), Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL), Major League Soccer (MLS), Major League Lacrosse (MLL), National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), America East Conference, Big Sky Conference, Colorado High School Activities Association, and Canadian Olympic Committee.

For more information or to contribute to this cause, visit the You Can Play Project website, at www.youcanplayproject.org.

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