The You Can Play Project will represent the United States at the 26th session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Geneva next week, becoming the first LGBT sports advocacy group to address the body.
In a special program of the Human Rights Council, the United Nations will hear about efforts to involve sports teams and athletes in encouraging social change. You Can Play, which specializes in promoting LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) inclusion in sports, will be featured alongside athletes promoting inclusion for women, athletes of color and the physically challenged.
“Tremendous strides have been made to make sports safe and fair for all athletes and we could not be more proud to have You Can Play represent LGBT athletes around the world in this important United Nations discussion,” said You Can Play president Patrick Burke.
You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts will represent You Can Play in discussions at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Monday afternoon. Kitts is a sports and entertainment marketing executive with experience promoting ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer. He currently works for the City of Denver and teaches sports marketing at the University of Denver.
“You Can Play has worked to give LGBT athletes and straight allies the voice to say a teammate’s commitment to winning, talent and skill matter on a team, not sexual orientation or gender identity,” Kitts said. “It’s an honor to represent the United States and the untold numbers of LGBT athletes and straight allies around the world in bringing this discussion to a truly global audience.”
You Can Play was invited by the Permanent Mission of the United States to the United Nations in Geneva. The event has been spearheaded by the Permanent Mission of Greece, with collaboration from the missions of the U.S., New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea. Others individuals invited to participate are Greek Olympic rower Dimitris Mouyios, speaking on equality as an Olympic ideal; New Zealand’s paralympic swimmer Douane Kale addressing disabled athletes in sports; Korea’s Sunghee Park speaking on her experience as an elite female tennis player; and, Gabon native Stevy Worah Ozimo speaking about race and his work as a UNICEF ambassador.
You Can Play is a Denver based non-profit organization dedicated to changing the culture of locker rooms and sports venues by promoting diversity and inclusion, and valuing what an athlete contributes to a sport over sexual orientation or gender identity.