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AHL Monarchs Support You Can Play

Monarchs Support You Can Play Project

PSA featuring Monarchs players debuted on Friday

MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs, the primary affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, have partnered with You Can Play Project to help ensure equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, right wing Brandon Kozun, left wing Richard Clune, defenseman Jordan Hill and right wing Stefan Legein participated in the Monarchs You Can Play Project’s public service announcement that debuted on Friday, May 25.

The You Can Play Project seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete’s skills, work ethic and competitive spirit. “I think there is enough discrimination in the world, we don’t need to discriminate in sports,” explained Hill. “I am proud to support the right for everybody to be able to play if they can play.”

You Can Play Project launched their first PSA during the Boston Bruins/New York Rangers game on NBC on Sunday, March 4, 2012. Players throughout the National Hockey League have joined the You Can Play Project and have lent their voice to the campaign with their own “If You Can Play, You Can Play” videos. “I wanted to be a part of the project because I believe that athletes and people in general should not be discriminated against based on their sexual preference,” said Clune. “If my small part in this project can give a gay athlete the strength to pursue their dream without feeling judged, then I’m happy to do it.”

Co-founder Patrick Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, appeared in the debut PSA with his father, the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brian Burke. Patrick is the older brother of Brendan Burke who made headlines for being an openly gay equipment manager for the Miami University Riverhawks in 2009. Brendan died tragically when his car lost control in a snow storm on an Indiana highway in February 2010. Patrick carries on his little brother’s legacy and vision with the You Can Play Project.

“We are very grateful to the Manchester Monarchs organization for their tremendous support of the You Can Play Project,” expressed Patrick. “We would like to especially thank the players who were willing to take a stand to make sports safer for LGBT athletes, coaches and fans. Fans of both the Monarchs and their parent Los Angeles Kings should be excited by the courage, leadership and unity shown by their prospects. This attitude of teamwork and inclusiveness will serve the Monarchs and Kings well in future seasons. “Manchester has always been a first class organization on and off the ice, and this PSA continues that legacy. We hope fans of the Monarchs will join their players (and Max) in making The Jungle a safe space for LGBT athletes and fans.”

The project plans to produce a playbook for coaches, players, members of the news media and administrators at all age levels to create a non-threatening environment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes.  For more information on You Can Play, visit

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You Can Play - Unscripted, Part 3

From Vancouver and San Jose to Long Island and Winnipeg, some of the biggest stars in the NHL have shown their support for LGBT athletes, saying teams are like families and everyone will be respected.  Here’s what players are saying:

Tanner Glass, Winnipeg Jets: “A hockey locker room is a place to be accepting. The fact there are no openly gay athletes in our sport is not right. If you look at the numbers, statistically there’s got to be a few guys. Anything we can do to make it more comfortable for them, the better. The language has got to be the first thing to go.”

Luke Schenn, Toronto Maple Leafs: “You wouldn’t think differently if a guy if he was or wasn’t gay. Everyone’s the same and everyone’s welcome around here. We’re all a team here. The NHL is one big family, and everyone’s welcome. If there’s a gay player out there I’m sure he’d be a great role model and a lot of kids would benefit from it.”

Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks: “I think it’s great. It’s something we support. And for them to carry on the legacy of Brian [Burke’s] son, and Patrick’s brother, it’s a great way to do that and, like I said, we’re extremely supportive. [I would do a PSA] if they ask. I don’t think anyone that I know wouldn’t do it. To support the Burke family…would be an honour, for sure. I can’t talk for all of us, but the guys I’ve talked to, and myself and my brother, it would be no problem at all [for a teammate to come out]. It’s not going to change the way we see them or the way we treat them. They’re one of us and they’re part of the team. In here, it would not be a problem. [I support You Can Play] 100 percent. To have this message — it’s a powerful message — and to have the Burke family doing this, it’s great. And I’m hoping it’s going to help a lot of people.”

Franz Nielsen, New York Islanders: “It’s good for hockey that we’re doing this. I think it’s an issue that’s growing and it’s going to be more accepted; people who are LGBT won’t have to hide it. I think in other sports it’s going to be a normal issue at some point soon, too. It’s definitely great that hockey started it though. It shows that we care. Ten years back, this never would have happened, so I think we came a long way. No one has an issue with it. You’re going to hear more about it, not just in hockey but in all sports. If it’s a teammate, if it’s a friend from back home, I’ll still be your friend, your teammate. It won’t change anything. It’s definitely going to happen on teams in the future. I think everybody would be supportive of a guy on the team.”

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers: “As players, we are in a fortunate position to help, to get together and lend our support. We want to help. Even though time for us to do things is tough at points during the season, there is never a question of wanting to be involved with something like this.”

Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks: “It’s a great cause. Brian Burke’s son was the first one to come out, and obviously, we know he passed away, and I think it’s a legacy to him. Burkie was my first-ever general manager and anything I can do to help him and help the cause — it’s for the better. I think this campaign that’s going on is going to help a lot. When Brendan Burke did that, he was the first-ever one to come out, and I think that gets the ball rolling. I think for some guys it’s a tough thing to do, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I would be definitely okay with it. I’m open-minded to that. If you’re okay with coming out and strong enough to come out — because we all know how people can be. It’s a very different world out there; people are very closed-minded. It’s good to see that this campaign is going to open some people’s eyes. We’re a big family in here and I’m sure every single guy in here would be more than supportive and help them along the way.”

Tommy Wingels, San Jose Sharks: “We just want to create an atmosphere where if someone’s ready [to come out], they’re able to do that. We’re trying to eliminate the casual homophobia in the game and in the locker room… It’s not just hockey we’re talking about. It’s sports in general. We want people to be judged on their talent. Nothing else should really matter. The cool part about it is it’s very easy to be a part of. Whether you’re on the board (You Can Play advisory board) like myself, or you’re just a guy in the locker room, it’s about watching what you say and creating an environment that is safe for everyone.”

On behalf of the entire You Can Play team, we thank these players and those who have participated and shown their support.

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You Can Play - Unscripted, Part 2

Dozens of NHL players have now made videos on behalf of the You Can Play Project. Many more have spoken up with their support for the idea that athletes shouldn’t be judged on characteristics of ethnicity, gender or sexuality. This is the second of a three-part look at quotes from some of these players talking about You Can Play.

Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins: “Brian (Burke) is a friend of mine and I immediately agreed to become a part of it. I really like the message behind it. It’s one of the reasons I love the game of hockey so much. It shouldn’t matter who you are or what you believe in, if you can play hockey then you can play in this league. I was very happy to be involved and help out any way I could. I think the message is important.”

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: “Right away I knew that I wanted to do it (You Can Play). It’s a very important subject. It’s a touchy subject to certain people and we want to just raise awareness. I thought it was a great cause and I’m happy so many other players have got involved and hopefully we can raise awareness.”

Ryan Jones, Edmonton Oilers: “I think the hockey community is a place where it’s tough for a player to come out, and tough for guys to speak what they really feel about gays and lesbians. And for the campaign to come out and get a good group of guys to talk about it, it’s going to raise awareness and show the acceptance of the hockey community.”

Mike Komisarek, Toronto Maple Leafs: “You don’t treat them (LGBT teammates) any differently. They’re still a friend and a teammate, and you care about them. Together we’re all striving for the same goal, so as long as they’re getting their job done, their beliefs don’t affect the way that we view them.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: “I think it’s the right thing to do, I’m fully supportive of it and I’m very proud of Patrick and Brian Burke for everything they’ve done in that regard. I do think in terms of everything this campaign represents, in terms of tolerance and no bullying, is one that is constructive in making it a better environment for anybody who wants to participate in sport- we’re making progress”

Matt Moulson, New York Islanders: “I’m honored and proud to be a part of this campaign. Sometimes in pro sports this issue is the kind of thing that gets swept under the rug, but it’s there and it’s important. Sexual orientation shouldn’t affect how players are treated. It’s one thing for politicians or non-profit leaders to discuss LGBT equality, but when role models like pro athletes become advocates for the cause, it can reach vast new audiences and create resounding awareness. If the situation comes up on a team I’m on, I’d be willing to help in any way I could. It would never change how I view a teammate. Based purely on percentages, I’ve probably played with someone or will play with someone who is LGBT. But it shouldn’t affect how you treat a teammate and it wouldn’t affect how I treated them. We’ve seen pro athletes in basketball and football come out after they’re done playing and it seems like there’s a lot of frustration there. This should not affect how players are treated – by teammates or anyone.”

Chris Thorburn, Winnipeg Jets: “It’s great. Get the awareness out. [Coming out] is a person’s choice and it should be respected.”

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Northfield Mount Hermon Takes the Lead with You Can Play Project

As part of the GForce Sports Invisible Athlete forum panel, Andrew Goldstein and Dave Farber have spoken to thousands of high school and college kids about homophobia in sports. Last fall, Andrew and Dave visited Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and talked about their experiences. Recently, NMH became the first high school to make a You Can Play video. Andrew and Dave are proud of the students, faculty and staff they met last October and Andrew tells about the visit and how things have changed at NMH.

“When we visited NMH, we met with a few students who felt intimidated by the words that they heard on a regular basis around school and especially in the locker room. So we met with the faculty, with administrators, coaches, teachers, and dorm parents. We wanted to explain to them that there was a problem in their school, that homophobic language was pervasive in the athletic environment.

They immediately had questions but they didn’t ask us to defend our point of view. They focused on what they could do to make a difference. This absolutely amazed me. I thought it would require us to give specific examples and explain how we, as scared closeted high school athletes, had listened to these words everyday with a smile on our faces only to go home at night and feel terrible about ourselves. But they were ready to move forward and do something. They just needed the tools.

We helped them to realize that they can start small: don’t allow homophobic language in their locker room, engage captains and leaders of the team to ensure a safe environment for all athletes, and to promote respect for everyone. We spoke to the entire student body and they were supportive and receptive to our message. Within days, we started hearing back from the students that things were changing. Ground rules were set by coaches and captains. Team leaders and administrators alike wanted to look out for all of their team members.

Watching their contribution to the You Can Play project is incredibly moving and rewarding for us. Our visit to NMH empowered the students, faculty and staff to declare that all athletes are welcome and will be judged only by their participation, heart and skills. We can only hope that other high schools are inspired to step up and promote respect for everyone like NMH has done. Thank you, NMH, for leading. It just goes to show how a simple dialogue can result in something significant.

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You Can Play - Unscripted, Part 1

When filming for the You Can Play Project PSAs began, we found it incredibly easy to get players to appear. Superstar athletes showed up, were filmed reading our scripts, and went back to work. But what do they say when no one’s there to script them? We’ve collected some of the uncensored, unrehearsed, and unscripted thoughts of National Hockey League superstars and Commissioner Gary Bettman regarding LGBT athletes.

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks: “You look at what it’s for (and) it’s not hard to say yes. It’s something that you have to respect. For Burkie and for Patrick Burke, it’s something special for them. When you got guys supporting that kind of thing it just shows that everybody’s on the same page. Everybody’s on board and everybody cares about one another and that’s the biggest thing.”

Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers: “We live in a diverse world where if anyone sets their mind to do anything they can do it, no matter race or sexuality or anything. There’s a lot of guys involved, which speaks well for the League. … It’s pretty cool that everyone is on board.”

Shawn Thornton, Boston Bruins: “My hometown is a very blue collar, industrial place. There isn’t much of a [gay] community there, but 20 minutes down the road was Toronto. So while I didn’t really grow up with a huge gay community there was one close by and it’s never been an issue with me. We’re family in here. We’re around each other more than our own families so you create a certain bond and everyone supports each other in whatever they are doing. That’s definitely the case in this locker room. I have known all of these guys for a long time. All that we went through last year and being around each other until mid-June, I know this room would be unbelievable.”

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers: “It’s obvious that everyone should have the same rights and ability to play the game, it doesn’t matter race or sexual orientation. To me, I think overall, all the hockey players I meet are a respectful group of people. I’ve never had an issue with it or seen people have issues with it. But when they asked me, if they wanted my help, I would. I’ve never been on a team where guys come out. I don’t know how guys would react. I can say from the people I know, that players are very respectful. Honestly, it wouldn’t be a problem.”

James Van Riemsdyk, Philadelphia Flyers: “I wouldn’t have thought any different of a teammate or whoever if they were gay, and I owe that to my parents for raising me to treat everyone the same way, and to treat people the way I would want to be treated. Patrick started all of this for his brother, to carry on his mission and raise awareness. I had a few buddies who played at Miami College of Ohio where Brendan was the team manager, and they had great things to say about him, just about what a great kid he was. So when Patrick approached me about getting involved, knowing what I knew about him and his family, it just seemed like a great thing to do. The Burkes are a great family and good people, and they’re people I’d want to get involved with.”

Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers: “It’s a great initiative, and the way they’re handling it. Whether your race or your sexual orientation, I don’t think it really matters. As long as you’re good enough to be in the game, that’s all that really matters.”

Andy Miele, Phoenix Coyotes: “You could see how much Brendan cared for the sport and if his sexual orientation prevented him from achieving something that he loved so much, that basically wasn’t fair. Hopefully we help bring awareness that it’s just a sexual orientation and nothing more, and it shouldn’t prevent anyone from achieving their dreams.”

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To the Writers’ Association:  Tommy Wingels for the Masterton Trophy

To the Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association,

Each year, your Association is tasked with the difficult job of selecting the winner of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is given to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.” This year, 30 deserving players have been nominated. There are many wonderful names on the list- players whose character, passion, and dedication are absolutely unquestioned. We write this open letter to you today to ask you to consider voting for Tommy Wingels of the San Jose Sharks.

Simply put, without Tommy, there would be no You Can Play Project. We can say this honestly, and we can say it for many reasons. Tommy’s unwavering support of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community in the sports world began at Miami University with his support of the late Brendan Burke. Brendan’s story is now well known in the hockey world, but the role of the Miami players in the story is often underemphasized. Without the support of his wonderful Miami teammates, Brendan would not have been in a position to share his story with the rest of the hockey world. Tommy, in his position as captain, worked with the rest of the team to ensure that Brendan felt safe and welcomed in the Redhawks locker room. Without that welcoming atmosphere, there would have been no story on ESPN, no interviews on TSN, and no You Can Play Project.

When Brendan was tragically killed in February of 2010, Tommy was again there to support the Burke family. He did a reading at Brendan’s funeral, and stayed in constant contact with the Burkes over the ensuing months. When Patrick mentioned the idea of the You Can Play Project to Tommy, he (along with fellow Miami Redhawk Andy Miele) jumped at the chance to be involved. Not content with just doing a PSA, both Tommy and Andy volunteered to serve on the advisory board and generously donated the first two checks to get You Can Play off the ground. Tommy still works tirelessly behind the scenes to attract new players to appear in our videos and to raise awareness about the issues LGBT athletes face. He has been relentless in his desire to help end homophobic bullying in any way he can.

Since our launch, NHL players have been overwhelmingly supportive of our campaign. The tremendous displays of support from the hockey community may make Tommy’s work seem less courageous, less daring, or less important. As more and more superstars sign on to support us, it is rapidly becoming the norm for NHL players to speak out about LGBT rights. However, it is our belief that Tommy showed remarkable courage by being (again, along with Miele) the first to sign on. Tommy’s presence on the campaign was secured at a time in his career where his NHL job was not. He was a minor league player, and he had no way of knowing how his vocal support of You Can Play would affect his reputation with his future employers, teammates, and fans. Had we been unable to secure additional players right from the start, Tommy and Andy would have been standing alone on this issue, with potentially harmful backlash. Tommy shouldered that burden without hesitation.

Simply put, Tommy is an active and vocal supporter of the most marginalized group in the sports world. He has supported the LGBT community both privately and publicly. He has done so with his time, effort, creativity, finances, and reputation. He did when his career was far from a certainty. He did it before it was endorsed by the NHL and his fellow NHL players. And he continues to do it, not out of a desire for recognition but out of a genuine belief that he will better the lives of people around the world because of his efforts. In short, Tommy put his own NHL dreams on the line in order to help ensure that others are given a fair chance to follow theirs.

For far too long, the gay hockey players of the world have had to live in fear, secrecy, and shame. Thanks to the courageous efforts of Tommy Wingels, the day is coming when that will not be true. Because of him, we will have a better sport, a safer sport, and a new generation of LGBT fans and athletes who are drawn to hockey because they know they will be accepted there. It is our belief that, wonderful though they all may be, it would be difficult for any other NHL player to surpass the positive impact made on the game of hockey by Tommy Wingels of the San Jose Sharks.


The You Can Play Project

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You Can Play Weekly News Update

Week of March 4, 2012

New York Times

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Washington Post

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USA Today

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National Post

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Sporting News

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Boston Herald

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Associated Press

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Winnipeg Sun

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Sharks Talk

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United States of Hockey

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Yahoo Sports

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Global Toronto

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Team Captains: Chara and Pominville

One is the biggest man ever to play in the National Hockey League.  The other is potentially the most gentlemanly player in the NHL.  Together, they’re the first two team captains to be featured in the You Can Play campaign.

Slovakian Zdeno Chara, at 6’9″, is the tallest player in the history of the NHL.  He’s climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, speaks seven languages, and captains the Boston Bruins.  The 16th permanent captain in Buffalo Sabres history, Jason Pominville, is widely regarded as one of the best sports in the NHL, having been nominated for the NHL’s Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and having won the QMJHL’s Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy for gentlemanly play.

Chara and Pominville stepped up early for the You Can Play Project.  Both men were filmed at the 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa.  Both men were clear about their willingness to end homophobia in sports by standing up for any teammate who might be gay.

You Can Play is grateful to Zdeno and Jason for leading the way.  Watch for additional team captains over the next few days.

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Sunday in New York

It’s been a year full of ups and downs for Patrick, Glenn and me as we’ve worked to put together the You Can Play Project.  Each of us believes deply that sexual orientation in sports just shouldn’t be a big deal – the focus should be on whether you can contribute to your sport and your team.  But, we need gay athletes and straight allies to actually say so.  For too long, athletes have had a homophobic image, one that honestly doesn’t fit so many of today’s great competitors.

As we’ve traveled around New York this weekend, we’re reminded by the many gay and straight athletes and allies we’ve talked with that this is a team of thousands. At a small fundraiser last night, I think we were all overwhelmed by the number of athletes and fans willing to connect us with others who can help out.

And, as the HBO-produced “The Faceoff” video debuts today during today’s Bruins-Rangers game NBC, we’re so grateful to the dozens of NHL players who have been the first to step up when asked. We’ll start rolling out other videos later this month featuring All-Stars and team captains.   We’ve already talked to dozens of other hockey players at all levels of the sport – from college to minor leagues – who will be involved in the project.  But, this isn’t only a hockey project.  We’re so excited to begin working with other sports, leagues athletes and fans.

We know that while the Rangers and Bruins are rocking Madison Square Garden today, there are millions of men and women on rinks, ponds, fields, courts, rivers and arenas all over the world that we can count on for support.  The Faceoff is first.  But, here’s to tipoffs, kick-offs and beginnings of all kinds.

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You Can Play Launches

“You Can Play” Launches Gay-Straight Campaign to End Homophobia in Sports

Program Encourages Focus on Athletic Ability and Skill, Rather than Sexual Orientation; Professional Hockey Players Sign on as First Public Supporters

Denver – The You Can Play project, with the backing of numerous National Hockey League players and other supporters, today is launching an aggressive advocacy program to change the sometimes homophobic culture of locker rooms with a message that athletes should be judged on athletic skill and ability, not sexual orientation or other discriminatory factors.

A large number of high-profile NHL players, including several All-Stars, are filming public service announcements (PSAs) in support of You Can Play. The first PSA debuts during the first intermission of today’s NBC Sports broadcast of the game between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, with others to follow shortly. All videos can be found at, which also will serve as a resource for straight and gay athletes, coaches and fans.

“The goals for You Can Play are clear,” according to co-founder Patrick Burke. “We want to make locker rooms safe for all athletes, rather than places of fear, slurs and bullying. The casual homophobia in sports has to change, so all athletes know that what counts is whether you can play the game.” Burke, a scout for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, has been a straight ally in sports since his younger brother Brendan came out as gay while manager of the Miami University ice hockey team. Brendan’s story became national news because of his closeness to the NHL and took on deeper meaning when he was killed in a 2010 car accident. Burke’s father, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, has joined Patrick in filming a PSA in support of You Can Play.

“The hockey community united behind Brendan because he loved the game, and that’s what matters. The NHL players stepping forward to support You Can Play know that creating a homophobia-free environment will make their teams – and the sport – better,” Patrick Burke continued. “It’s important for straight athletes at all levels to step up and let gay athletes know they will be accepted, and to let other straight athletes know that homophobic language and attitudes are never appropriate. This project is a combined effort of gay and straight athletes and fans, but the message is largely for straight audiences.” Said Brian Burke, general manager of the Maple Leafs, “The Burke family is very proud to carry on Brendan’s legacy by working to ensure that LGBT athletes, coaches and fans around the world are treated with respect by the sports world. The You Can Play project will serve as a tremendous resource for the sports community by providing them with the tools needed to create safe arenas. I continue to be incredibly grateful to the NHL community for rallying around our cause and standing up for equality, and I look forward to seeing other leagues do the same. It has become abundantly clear to me that NHL players, coaches and management agree completely with our ideals: talent matters, sexual orientation does not. If you can play, You Can Play.”

2011 Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Andy Miele, who was a friend of Brendan Burke’s while at Miami University and now plays in the Phoenix Coyotes organization, has stepped forward to talk about the importance of You Can Play. “The reason why I wanted to be a part of You Can Play is pretty obvious. I had a relationship with Brendan, and if he was still here he would want to promote this more than anyone else,” said Miele. “I felt privileged when Patrick came to me and asked me to be a part of it and I look forward to investing this into players all over the world to make the sports world safe for gay athletes.” While more than 30 NHL players have already volunteered to support the program, You Can Play will extend beyond hockey, encompassing all sports, athletes and fans. The organization is in active discussions with officials and players in several other sports leagues.

“Casual homophobia doesn’t belong in any sports setting, whether in the locker room or in the stands. You Can Play will help to change the behavior and acceptance of fans,” according to co-founder Brian Kitts, who has spent more than ten years in the front offices of professional hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer teams. “Most fans care about exciting games, great performances and wins, not whether a player is gay or straight. Fans need to send the message to other fans that sexual orientation just doesn’t matter.”

Glenn Witman, the third co-founder of You Can Play, is a former hockey player at Hobart College and founder of GForce Sports, an elite gay hockey team and advocacy program. “Any player, gay or straight, knows how homophobic locker rooms can be,” Witman said. “Coaches and teams don’t get the best performance when a member of the team is forced to keep any secret or when any player feels shut out. You Can Play shows coaches, team captains and players how important it is to focus on skills and work ethic, not personal differences.”

You Can Play will launch with a series of videos from professional athletes but will quickly begin adding user-generated content. The organization welcomes video content from pro teams, university teams and athletes, club athletes and sports fans who value skill and healthy competition first. Over the next year, You Can Play will provide educational materials, workbooks, online coaching and other high school- and college-based programs aimed at letting coaches and players discuss sexual orientation. “Familiarity and understanding is the best way to promote acceptance,” Witman said. “Athletes who work with us know that hurting your friends and teammates doesn’t get a win.”

The You Can Play website is augmented by a full suite of social media properties. Extensive outreach will be conducted on Facebook, Twitter (@YouCanPlayTeam) and YouTube (YouCanPlayProject) to grow the You Can Play community and further promote the organization’s goals and positive messages. NBC Sports and HBO have joined the launch effort to support the creation and release of the PSA featuring NHL players. Initial funding for You Can Play was provided by the Gill Foundation, the Palette Fund and the Colin Higgins Foundation.