32 athletes and seven coaches from 17 different teams contributed to Brown University’s You Can Play video. Diving, swimming, water polo. Soccer, skiing, squash. Lacrosse, hockey, rowing, basketball. Wrestling, tennis and field hockey.
The athletes and coaches were joined by athletic director Jack Hayes in supporting all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation.
Meghan Earley and Walker Shockley were looking for a concrete, lasting way to establish a forum for LGBT teammates within the athletic department. They were joined in the effort by photographer and editor Pom Bunsermvicha.
According to Shockley, “In order to maintain the integrity of athletics at Brown, Meghan and I aimed to emphasize the fact that athletes and recruits are judged solely on their athleticism, sportsmanship, and character. As competitors and as friends of LGBTQ athletes, we understand the negative consequences of prejudice and discrimination in the athletic arena. Evaluating athletes on extraneous qualities like sexual orientation or gender expression adversely affects the sport’s competitiveness and the individual’s confidences. We hope that the message of Brown’s You Can Play video will encourage LGBTQ athletes at all levels to feel comfortable and to excel in their sports.”
Founded in 1764, the Providence, RI school is a member of the Ivy League.