Posts tagged You Can Play
UCLA student athletes and coaches released the latest You Can Play video last week, which includes both the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
UCLA boasts having more athletes from their university represented in Major League Soccer than any other school, with 22 former players now on MLS squads. New England’s Kelyn Rowe, Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey, Salt Lake’s Tony Beltran, Philadelphia’s Amobi Okugo, and Portland’s Sal Zizzo are all former Bruins who are on our Allies List.
You Can Play provides a very unique training opportunity for the Quakes, because they bring both the expertise of LGBT advocates like founder Brendan Burke and the experience of LGBT athletes to its learning experiences. Former MLS and NASL midfielder David Testo is a member of the YCP board, and will play a role in the Quakes training.
The entire Earthquakes squad will be going through the training sessions, and not just Alan Gordon, who is mandated by the League to undergo diversity training.
From the Earthquakes’ release:
“We have enlisted the You Can Play Project to meet with our players and coaches to discuss the issues facing LGBT athletes in sports,” said Earthquakes President Dave Kaval. “They have built a great organization and we look forward to learning from their expertise and to furthering our work toward true unity in our locker room.”
Last week You Can Play entered a formal partnership with the National Hockey League and its Players Association. While not yet a partnership of this level, it’s great to see an MLS team working with YCP!
While the issue of marriage equality is being argued within the Supreme Court this week (and for many weeks to come), the issue has rested in our everyday lives for years. Recently, groups such as NOH8, You Can Play, Athlete Ally, and the Human Rights Campaign have brought marriage equality, fair play in sport, and general respect for the LGBT communities to the forefront in the media, social networks, local campaigns, and across any platform where their words will be heard.
Unfortunately, our world revolves around taking a side in every discussion, argument, and issue which arises on a daily basis. Whether it’s marriage, race, or gender equality, animal rights, abortion, etc, people are forced to pick a side…but, why? Why does everything have to be “my side or your side?” People shouldn’t have to live their lives knowing there are “two sides to every story.” In reality, there are billions of sides to every story. Every person on planet earth has their own thoughts, beliefs, and “side” to every story, as long as they choose to take a stand.
By taking a stand for what you believe, you’re not taking a side. You’re standing up for your own beliefs, feelings, opinions, and thoughts. Your stand may, or may not, place you on one side, but that does mean you’re forced to defend that side. You’re only forced to defend your stand.
The laws of the federal government and states within the union will have the final say whether or not marriage will become legally equal among all genders. No matter the outcome, those laws shouldn’t affect and change your stand. According to the artist Macklemore, “No law is going to change us. We have to change us.” With that being said, I choose to take my stand for equality with more words from Macklemore, “No freedom ‘til we’re equal. Damn right I support it.”
One year ago today, our friends at the You Can Play Project got started with their groundbreaking video, “The Faceoff,” telling gay athletes that an ability to play is the only thing that matters on the field, ice, or court.
Over the last twelve months, they have produced videos with that message delivered by other professional hockey players, student athletes, and television broadcasters.
They have also produced videos with teams in Major League Soccer: DC United and Toronto FC, featuring Mike Chabala, Darren O’Dea, Richard Eckersley, Stefan Frei, Torsten Frings, Eric Hassli, Milos Kocic, Paul Mariner, Ben Olsen, Chris Pontius, Thomas Rongen, and Luis Silva.
The Colorado College Women’s soccer team is the latest group to produce a video for the You Can Play Project. It is the first You Can Play video to feature only a collegiate soccer team.
The message of the You Can Play Project is spreading fast, with St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick, being the second college to release a video this week.
Defender Dylan Hughes and Goalkeeper Marc Gagnon both represent Men’s Soccer in the video.
The University of Cincinnati Bearcats are the latest collegiate entry to the You Can Play Project, and their video features a representative of both men’s and women’s soccer.
Midfielders Matt Bahner and Emily Elsbrock are both in the video put together by the school’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, stating that LGBT athletes are welcome on their teams that strive to eliminate homophobic language from sports. Go University of Cincinnati Bearcats!
Both DC United and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer have made videos for the You Can Play Project, whose mission is to ensure “equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.”
In addition to English, these players and coaching staff shared the You Can Play message in the languages from their home countries:
- Defender Richard Eckersley
- Goalkeeper Stefan Frei
- Midfielder Torsten Frings
- Forward Eric Hassli
- Goalkeeper Milos Kocic
- Head Coach Paul Mariner
- Defender Darren O’Dey
- Academy Director Thomas Rongen
- Midfielder Luis Silva
Toronto FC’s participation in You Can Play is a great testament to its commitment to the diversity of the city in which they play, and to all of the LGBT players, staff, and fans out there. Toronto also has a very special connection to You Can Play, with the Maple Leafs’ Brian Burke on the advisory board.
Thank you Toronto FC!
Another United States college has released a You Can Play video, and it has a special connection with the You Can Play Project.
Students at Maine’s Bowdoin College have come together for the video, organized by Molly Burke, whose brother Brendan was the inspiration for You Can Play. Brendan Burke was the student manager of the Miami University of Ohio hockey team, and he came out to ESPN in 2009 before being tragically killed in an auto accident the following year.
The new video from Bowdoin College includes athletes from all of the Polar Bear teams, including members of the soccer program.
A new You Can Play video was released today featuring University of New Brunswick athletics and several members of the soccer program at the Canadian school.
Women’s soccer coach Jon Crossland is a participant, as well as defenders Emma Quigley and George Lawton.
If you can eh you can eh.