Posts tagged You Can Play

Supporters Groups: Say “You Can Play” in 2014


Dozens of supporters groups have expressed their support for the LGBT community since this site started. And Major League Soccer has partnered with the You Can Play Project since last season.

Now it’s time to combine those two things as we issue a challenge to soccer supporters groups all throughout 2014: Make the next great You Can Play video.

DC United, the San Jose Earthquakes, the Seattle Reign, and Toronto FC have all made videos. And now, whether your support MLS, NWSL, NASL, USL, a national team, or any other team or league, it’s your turn to show support video style. Check out what some San Jose Sharks fans made:

We’ll be looking for your videos all throughout the year, and when the playoffs come this fall we’ll be picking a top video from all of the submissions we see. Videos will receive ratings in three areas:

  1. How well it spreads the “You Can Play” message
  2. How well it shows off your supporters group
  3. Overall video quality

Need advice or help with your video’s messaging? Email us at and we can talk about ideas. You can share final videos via methods like Google Drive or Dropbox or any other medium that works for you. Just let us know where it is and we’ll share it with the world. You have until October 31.

We hope many supporters groups can take part in this exciting project. Because if you can chant, you can chant. If you can cheer, you can cheer. And if you can play, you can play.

Good luck!

Colorado Rapids Join “You Can Play, Colorado!”


Colorado RapidsThe You Can Play Project is launching an initiative with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and MLS’ Colorado Rapids are among the pro teams who have signed on to participate.

You Can Play, Colorado! is a program to encourage inclusion in high school athletics and other extracurricular activities, especially among LGBT youth. Many Colorado sports teams will be represented in the program including the Rapids, NHL’s Avalanche, and NBA’s Nuggets. The Avalanche will be the first with a video out in support of the program early next month. Students from across the state will also be able to create videos supporting diversity for the project as part of a contest.

You Can Play executive director Wade Davis graduated from high school in Colorado, and had this to say in their release about the new program:

Ending discrimination of any kind in sports has always been the mission of You Can Play. In working with CHSAA, it became clear that You Can Play’s original mission of changing the culture of locker rooms extends to anywhere students rely on teammates, whether that’s a locker room, on a debate or chess team, or in school bands or plays.

Hopefully You Can Play, Colorado! will serve as a great example for what professional teams and organizations across the country can do together to work towards inclusion at all levels of sports.

You Can Play Brown University

You Can Play Goes Back to School with the Ivy League


You Can Play Brown UniversityThe You Can Play Project has gone back to school with new videos from Ivy League schools Brown University and Dartmouth College.

The soccer programs from each school is represented in the two videos, along with a myriad of other sports programs.

Brown and Dartmouth are two of our nation’s oldest institutions of higher learning, and it’s great to see their student athletes taking a stand on and off the field as they lead the way in the Ivy League.

Here’s the video from Dartmouth released early in September:

And here’s Brown’s video that came out just last week:

Here’s to many more great You Can Play videos from collegiate and pro teams in the coming year!

Megan Rapinoe Seattle Reign You Can Play

Seattle Reign Say “You Can Play”


The Seattle Reign are the latest American soccer team to make a video for the You Can Play Project, becoming the first Women’s professional team in the US to participate.

Out US Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe joined the Reign earlier this summer after her time with Lyon and she appears with her teammates in the video.

Welsh international Jess Fishlock spoke about making the video:

I am excited that we are partnering with You Can Play and helping them take the steps that are needed to eradicate homophobia in professional sports. It’s something I support 100% and I am honored to play for the first professional women’s team aligned with this cause.

Megan Rapinoe Seattle Reign You Can PlayHere’s the full roster of Seattle Reign participants in the You Can Play video:

  • Michelle Betos, goalkeeper
  • Liz Bogus, forward
  • Jess Fishlock, midfielder and Welsh National Team member
  • Laura Harvey, head coach
  • Sam Laity, assistant coach
  • Megan Rapinoe, midfielder and US National Team member
  • Keelin Winters, midfielder
Go Reign!
San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas

Earthquakes Reserves Match to Benefit You Can Play

San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas

San Jose winger Shea Salinas speaks out for the You Can Play Project. He has been in the lineup for the last two reserve matches, both wins.

On Monday, July 15, the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves take on USL PRO’s Antigua Barracuda FC in a match benefiting the You Can Play Project.

The match will take place at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium, the former home of the San Francisco 49ers located in Golden Gate Park. Tickets, available from the Quakes Front Office and at the stadium on game day, are $10 with all proceeds benefiting the work of You Can Play.

San Jose and You Can Play’s relationship began when YCP was chosen to provide diversity training after Alan Gordon used a gay slur during a game earlier this season. Not only did they work with Gordon, but they also brought their training to the entire team and academy. Since then You Can Play and all of Major League Soccer have entered a formal partnership and the Quakes have participated in two You Can Play videos.

The match against Antigua is the Quakes Reserves’ only match against USL PRO competition this season. They have 2 wins and 3 losses so far against MLS Reserves competitors.

Details on the match, including how Season Ticket Holders can get free vouchers for Appreciation Week, are at the Quakes’ website.

Two More Colleges Sign On With You Can Play


UC Berkeley and the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute have joined the many American colleges who have made videos for the You Can Play Project.

Men’s Soccer head coach Kevin Grimes is among the participants in the video from UC Berkeley, spreading the message that athletes are welcome at Cal solely on the basis of ability, regardless of sexual orientation.

Cal alumni who stand with us as allies include Houston’s Calen Carr, Toronto’s Stefan Frei (who was in that team’s YCP video), Dallas’ Andrew Jacobson, New England’s A.J. Soares, and Toronto’s Andrew Wiedeman.
read more…

San Jose Earthquakes Alan Gordon

San Jose Earthquakes Say “You Can Play”


The San Jose Earthquakes have become the third team in Major League Soccer to produce a video supporting LGBT athletes for the You Can Play Project.

According to You Can Play founder Patrick Burke, the effort was spearheaded by Alan Gordon who recruited his teammates and got the team’s front office on board. Burke met with the entire San Jose Earthquakes team and academy after Gordon used a gay slur on the field earlier this season.

San Jose Earthquakes Alan GordonAppearing in the video are forward Chris Wondolowski, forward Steven Lenhart, midfielder Shea Salinas, midfielder Sam Cronin, forward Alan Gordon, defender Justin Morrow, defender Steven Beitashour, and defender Jason Hernandez.  (Thanks to Robert Jonas for an assist on identifying all the participants)

DC United and Toronto FC have also made videos for You Can Play, and Chris Wondolowski participated in a video with players from every major Bay Area professional team.

Go Quakes!

You Can Play Haastrup

Ryerson University Says “You Can Play”


You Can Play HaastrupRyerson University in Toronto, Canada, is the latest school whose student athletes have made a video for the You Can Play Project.

The video includes the first badminton player to take part in a video for the project, and also third year men’s soccer forward Peter Haastrup:

Professional and collegiate sports programs producing videos expressing support for LGBT athletes is a big part of You Can Play, who announced a partnership with Major League Soccer last week. DC United and Toronto FC each made You Can Play videos last season. The new partnership has already yielded a training request from an MLS club.

Go Rams!


Major League Soccer Teams Up With You Can Play


Major League Soccer, along with the MLS Players Union, becomes the second major league to partner with the You Can Play Project.

Today Major League Soccer and the MLS Players Union announced a partnership with the You Can Play Project, becoming the second major league to do so.

Via the MLS/YCP release, League Commissioner Don Garber said:

The diversity found in our League has always been a point of pride for us. Our MLS WORKS ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ initiative is a strong statement that we are a league that stands against discrimination. We are proud to partner with You Can Play to ensure that all of our fans and players know that MLS is committed to providing a safe environment where everyone is treated equally, and with dignity and respect.

The You Can Play Project will become a go-to resource for MLS and the Union when it comes to LGBT issues in the league, providing resources directly to athletes. You Can Play will provide training to teams, players, and academies when requested as well as providing hard copies of materials to players through their clubs and Union. Resources will include education on LGBT issues, social media training, and answers to common questions athletes may have.

You Can Play will serve as a confidential and anonymous resource for Major League Soccer players, whether it be a gay player looking for help with issues around his own sexuality, or a straight player who has questions and needs someone open to discussing concerns honestly.

Prior to this official announcement, we’ve seen You Can Play work hand in hand with Major League Soccer and the San Jose Earthquakes as it provided diversity training to not only Alan Gordon after his use of a gay slur on the field, but also to the entire team and academy players. One thing that You Can Play sets as a guiding principle is to always have an out athlete as one of its speakers, and lacrosse player Andrew Goldstein joined YCP co-founder Patrick Burke in speaking to the Quakes. From all accounts it was a great experience for everybody involved.

From fans’ perspectives, look for more MLS teams to make videos for You Can Play, You Can Play Nights to happen in stadiums, and a presence of You Can Play on the league’s website.

Some other quotes from the announcement:

Bob Foose, Executive Director, MLS Players Union: “The MLS Players Union is proud to formalize a partnership with You Can Play. Our players strongly believe that, as the world’s most popular game, soccer should be open to everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. We as a Union are committed to expanding our outreach to ensure that all players and fans feel welcome in MLS as we continue to expand our dedicated and diverse fan base.”

Patrick Burke, Co-founder and President, You Can Play: “This partnership with MLS and the MLS Players Union confirms the message that MLS will not tolerate discrimination of any kind inside the locker rooms, on the field or in the stands. We will be able to provide vital resources directly to the players, while also ensuring that every soccer fan feels welcome to attend MLS events.”

Todd Dunivant, LA Galaxy Defender and Union Executive Board member: “As MLS players, we believe that our clubs are strongest when everyone feels safe and included in the locker room. In addition, we love our fans and want all of them to feel safe in our stands.  We are excited to work with You Can Play to ensure that both our locker rooms and our stadiums are welcoming to the LGBT community.”

Stanford University Chioma Ubogagu

Stanford University Says “You Can Play”


Stanford University has become the second PAC 12 school to make a video in support of LGBT athletes for the You Can Play Project.

The video features 28 student athletes, coaches, administrators, and staff all spreading the message that no matter what your sexual orientation or gender identity is, “If you can play, you can play.”

Of particular interest to soccer fans is the participation of forward Chioma Ubogagu, a member of the team that won Stanford’s first NCAA chmapionship. Internationally, her 89th minute goal last year secured the US Under 20 Team the CONCACAF Championship in a win over Canada. She was also a major player in the U-20 World Cup last year, scoring an extra time goal against North Korea to secure the USA a spot in the semifinals. The team would go on to defeat Nigeria and Germany to win the World Cup.

Stanford University Chioma Ubogagu

Go Cardinals and especially Chioma!

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