It's already proven to be an historic year for LGBT visibility and equality in sports, with milestones made by people like Michael Sam and Jason Collins. Now, a new team in the non-profit realm will add to this momentum. It was announced today that GLAAD and the You Can Play Project, one of North America's leading organizations dedicated to ensuring equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation, are partnering to ensure equality for athletes and fans, on and off the field. USA Today broke the news.
The two groups will realize this goal by developing resources for and working directly with sports officials and organizations to promote understanding of LGBT-related topics, as well as best practices for dealing with them. This project, which unites two groups at the forefront of LGBT media advocacy and sports equality respectively, is the first of its kind.
"The You Can Play Project understands the need for thoughtful innovative and collaborative partnerships," said Wade Davis, Executive Director of the You Can Play Project. "With GLAAD’s almost 30 years of experience educating the media, this partnership will help ensure that LGBT athletes and coaches will be represented in the media with great respect and dignity."
You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring that all athletes are afforded equal opportunities to compete, such that they are respected and safe. The group and GLAAD have worked together in the past; most recently, to discuss LGBT inclusion in sports culture after Michael Sam came out as one of the first openly LGBT NFL prospects.
Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO, commented on the partnership: "As LGBT athletes continue to break barriers in sports, it's now more important than ever that athletes, leagues, and sports fans see the value LGBT people bring to the team. Sports reach people from all walks of life and lend critical visibility to LGBT athletes, who simply want to play the game without fear of bias and stereotype. America is ready to see equality cross the finish line."