Middlebury has joined dozens of other colleges and universities in releasing a short video for the national You Can Play campaign, which promotes inclusion and diversity for all athletes, coaches, staff, and fans. The two-minute video features Middlebury athletes and coaches discussing the importance of teammates and the welcoming climate of Middlebury sports teams.
The You Can Play Project is a social activism campaign “dedicated to ensuring quality, respect, and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.” Most of the website’s videos build on the refrain, “If you can play, You Can Play.”
“The release of Middlebury’s You Can Play video coincided with other initiatives related to LGBQT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning, and transgender) issues in our department and on campus,” said Middlebury College Director of Athletics Erin Quinn. “Inclusion and support for teammates are key factors in the success of our teams.”
Earlier this year, Middlebury brought the executive director of the You Can Play Project, Wade Davis, to campus. The former NFL player met with students as well as members of the athletic department staff to discuss issues related to his organization’s mission.
According to its website, “You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, 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.”
Nearly 100 videos have been added to the website from a wide array of colleges and organizations, including the University of Vermont and fellow NESCAC members Amherst, Bates, and Connecticut College.
“Middlebury’s You Can Play video reflects the inclusive and welcoming environment that athletes experience here,” said Quinn. “We’re pleased to be part of this campaign.”
CLICK HERE to view Middlebury's video submission produced by Matt Lennon.