You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBT athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on the athlete’s skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
In 2012, You Can Play was launched by Patrick Burke of the NHL along with Brian Kitts and Glenn Witman of GForce Sports. Brendan Burke, the brother of Patrick Burke and son of Brian Burke, made international headlines when he came out as gay in 2009. A few months after he came out, Brendan died in a car accident. You Can Play was founded in Brendan Burke’s honour. You Can Play’s current Executive Director, Wade Davis, is a former NFL player and is one of the few openly gay men to have played professional sports. Wade was a defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, and for two different teams within the NFL Europe league.
Education & Resources
- Trainings for athletes, staff, coaches, leagues, organizations
- Panels and speaking events about diversity and LGBT inclusion
- Connections and referrals to partner organizations
Programs & Events
- Pro partnership programs, such as the Hi-Five Initiative
- You Can Play Nights (pro, collegiate, and community games)
- International and regional events such as Pride parades
Communications & Media
- Media talking points for leagues and partners
- Connection to media outlets
- You Can Play videos posted on website
Website – youcanplayproject.org