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.