HRC Blog

You Can Play: Advancing Equality for Athletes

The following post comes from HRC Communications Intern Matt Arnstine:

Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, has officially launched “You Can Play,” an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. Brian Burke’s youngest son, Brendan, made waves in the hockey world when he came out publicly in a moving piece written by ESPN reporter John Buccigross in December of 2009.  Tragically, Brendan lost his life just three months later when he was killed in a car accident. 

Brendan’s family, including his father Brian and his older brother, Patrick, have made it their mission to ensure that athletes aren’t judged by their sexual orientation, but rather by their talent, work ethic and determination to win.  Yesterday, the organization released a PSA featuring prominent NHL players such as: Rick Nash of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Andy Greene of the New Jersey Devils. 

“You Can Play” comes as a number of professional athletes are increasingly speaking out in favor of LGBT equality and against homophobia and transphobia. Recently, we’ve seen prominent athletes support show their support for LGBT rights.  Steve Tisch of the New York Giants, Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns and Sean Avery of the New York Rangers have been active in supporting HRC’s marriage equality efforts. 

Check out the PSA:

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