You Can Play, an advocacy organization dedicated to building bridges between the LGBT community and the world of athletics has just launched its "High Five" initiative which works to create meaningful connections between LGBT youth and leaders within the professional sports community. Team sports in the U.S. has become one of the last bastions of culture that has stayed rigidly exclusive of openly gay or transgender player. You Can Play hopes to change that by engaging LGBT youth and sports professionals in direct dialogue around inclusion, creating safe spaces, and teamwork.
Troy Vincent and Dwight Hollier, former NFL players and NFL player engagement executives, visited the Hetrick Martin Institute, the nation's largest and oldest LGBT youth services organization, yesterday to do just that. "It was inspiring to see individuals from perceived different walks of life realize they have so much in common and leave the event thirsting for more time together," says Wade Davis, Executive Director of You Can Play.
The You Can Play Project currently has official partnerships with the NHL and MLS, in addition to a strong relationship with the NFL. YCP provides vital resources directly to organizations to ensure safe spaces for everyone. They will continue the initiative throughout the 2014 season with more professional athletes making appearances at more LGBT organizations.