Joins Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets and East High School in effort
DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock has become the first mayor in the United States to voice support for LGBT athletes as part the You Can Play project and the Colorado High School Activities Association’s “You Can Play, Colorado!” initiative.
Mayor Hancock’s You Can Play video was released today along with a feature from Denver East High School’s student council, in which the students expand the idea of teamwork to student activities off the field including their school’s theater department and robotics club.
“I know the importance of team work both in and away from the game,” Mayor Hancock states in the video. “Including our friends and accepting our differences is the right thing to do. Together, we are a better team. We can all play.”
You Can Play is a Denver-based nonprofit organization with a mission to eliminate prejudice in locker rooms and sports venues. The group was cited in a Sunday New York Times article as being the conduit for University of Missouri football star Michael Sam to announce he is gay to his coaches.
Additionally, You Can Play recently launched a video featuring Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, along with hockey players from Colorado’s Mountain Vista and Regis Jesuit High Schools, which made the NHL the first sports league to have each of its teams support an LGBT-specific effort.
The Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and Quincy Miller appeared in a video with East High School athletes. Also committed to the program are the Colorado Rapids, Denver Cutthroats, Colorado Mammoth and Denver Outlaws.
“Mayor Hancock is a great sports fan, and he sends an important message that teamwork extends beyond the field, court or rink, into classrooms and offices,” said You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts. “Acknowledging the contribution of everyone on a team, regardless of their background or orientation, is a key to building any successful team.”
CHSAA’s initiative is putting the You Can Play message in every sports program and school activity in Colorado, from debate and chess club to theater and specialty programs such as robotics.
“You Can Play, Colorado!” features a You Can Play video contest open to all Colorado high schools, teams, and student activities as well as messaging and curriculum for coaches and student leaders.
CLICK HERE to watch Mayor Hancock’s video.
CLICK HERE to watch the East High School student council video.