DENVER, April 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The sport of lacrosse is going all-in to promote inclusion for all athletes and fans. You Can Play and US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men's and women's lacrosse, are teaming up to promote ability and commitment to a team and sport without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.
US Lacrosse becomes the first national governing body to provide LGBT-specific inclusion messaging to its entire membership and teams. The announcement comes a month after Major League Lacrosse announced a similar program meaning lacrosse is now represented at all levels of play – from youth to professional – in working for equality in sports.
The You Can Play Project strives to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports - including LGBT athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged only by what they contribute to the sport or their team's success. You Can Play seeks to challenge the culture of locker rooms and spectator areas by focusing only on an athlete's skills, work ethic and competitive spirit.
Initial platforms for collaboration between the two organizations will include the availability of You Can Play resources on the US Lacrosse web site, uslacrosse.org, and on-site visibility for the You Can Play project at selected US Lacrosse events. US Lacrosse will also utilize its regional chapters' network to provide further support for You Can Play messaging.
"US Lacrosse is honored to partner with You Can Play and is dedicated to supporting a clear message of inclusion, equality, respect and safety for all athletes regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," said Melissa Coyne, director of games administration at US Lacrosse. "We are committed to ensuring that all lacrosse participants are given a fair opportunity to compete and are celebrated for their athletic achievements on the field."
US Lacrosse joins a number of other organizations that are also affiliated with You Can Play, including Major League Lacrosse, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Football League, and Canadian Women's Hockey League.
"US Lacrosse is showing a real commitment to its athletes, their families and fans by recognizing the talents of LGBT athletes and building straight allies - all of whom love the sport of lacrosse," said You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts. "US Lacrosse's stance as a national governing body ensures fairness across the entire sport.
"The commitment of both US Lacrosse and Major League Lacrosse ensures that one of the fastest growing sports in North America also will be one of the most committed to inclusion and fairness," Kitts said.
US Lacrosse is committed to creating a safe sport culture and seeks to foster a lacrosse community that encourages understanding, appreciation and acceptance of all within its membership, volunteer base, and staff. US Lacrosse believes that broad representation adds significant value to the lacrosse experience of all, which is enhanced by embracing underrepresented and underserved communities.
"It is essential that the national governing bodies of sport not only support a message of inclusion and equality but that they take real actions and steps to provide a safe and healthy environment for all athletes," Coyne said.
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men's and women's lacrosse and the home of the nation's fastest-growing sport. US Lacrosse has more than 450,000 members in 68 regional chapters across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport.
About the You Can Play Project
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 or gender identity. More information about You Can Play can be found at youcanplayproject.org/.
Public Relations Manager
You Can Play
410-235-6882 # 154
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SOURCE You Can Play