PROVIDENCE, RI – Brown Athletics has joined the You Can Play Project in supporting diversity and inclusion for all student-athletes, coaches and fans. Former women’s swimmer Meghan Earley ’13 (Orange, CT) and men’s water polo player Walker Shockley ’14 (Diamond Bar, CA) came up with the idea for the You Can Play video as a way to generate awareness of LGBTQ athletes on campus while promoting Brown’s inclusivity within the athletic community.
“At Brown University, we celebrate all our student-athletes,” said Brown’s Director of Athletics Jack Hayes. “We judge them by their effort, their determination and their commitment to excellence.”
The video, which features 32 athletes, representing 16 different sports, three coaches and Hayes, was produced by Earley and Shockley and filmed and edited by Pom Bunsermvicha ’16.
"Throughout the process of producing the You Can Play video, Walker and I received an overwhelming amount of support from athletes, coaches, and members of the athletic administration,” said Earley. “As a gay athlete at Brown, I always knew I had the support of my teammates and coaches; however, it was incredible to see that support coming from all different aspects of the Brown athletic community."
“In order to maintain the integrity of athletics at Brown, Meghan and I aimed to emphasize that athletes and recruits are judged solely on their athleticism, sportsmanship and character,” said Shockley. “As competitors and as friends of LGBTQ athletes, we understand the negative consequences of prejudice and discrimination in the athletic arena. Evaluating athletes on extraneous qualities like sexual orientation or gender expression adversely affects the sport’s competitiveness and individuals’ confidence. We hope that the message of Brown’s You Can Play video will encourage LGBTQ athletes at all levels to feel comfortable and to excel in their sports.”
You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation. To learn more about the You Can Play Project or to get involved, visit: http://youcanplayproject.org.