You Can Play project: Playing for respect

You Can Play hockeyBY KEVIN MAJOROS
Washington Blade

About 16 months ago, I wrote about the role of sports heroes and how they could impact the public perception of the LGBT community. At the time, I was thinking about openly gay sports figures breaking down barriers and creating a positive image of LGBT athlete. Fast forward to today and multiple straight sports heroes have stepped forward to help accomplish that task.

This past year has seen some incredible support from straight sports ally groups such as the ones founded by Hudson Taylor and Ben Cohen. And more recently, national buzz was created by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe from their support of the LGBT community.

Coming on the heels of all of this is the momentum being gained by the first specifically sports-targeted campaign launched within a professional sports community, the National Hockey League (NHL). The You Can Play project kicked off in March with all three of its founders having ties to ice hockey.

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Washington Blade is America’s leading gay news source.

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