GLAAD and You Can Play Project announce official partnership to grow LGBT acceptance in sports

Organizations to lead conversations with all major American sports leagues about LGBT equality in sports
March 18, 2014

Rich Ferraro
Vice President of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011

New York, NY – GLAAD, the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today announced an official partnership with 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. Together, the organizations will expand visibility of LGBT people and allies in the sports community.

"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," said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis. "There are few institutions that reach more people than sports, and changing the conversation about LGBT athletes and sports fans will have a tremendous impact on equality on and off the field."

Together the organizations will continue discussions on LGBT inclusion with every major American sports leagues and expand the work to include college level conferences and leagues. GLAAD and You Can Play will develop resources for sports leagues, teams, and sports media to ensure that LGBT athletes and fans are treated equally on and off the field. The groups will also host trainings for sports organizations that help sports officials tackle LGBT issues with the respect and urgency they require.

The two organizations also are working on a national PSA campaign highlighting the growing acceptance of LGBT people by professional athletes.

"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."

Earlier this year, GLAAD and You Can Play worked together on media around NFL prospect Michael Sam following Sam's announcement that he is gay. GLAAD placed You Can Play Executive Director Wade Davis in more than 30 mainstream media outlets to talk about the importance of LGBT visibility in sports and the shift towards acceptance of LGBT people.