UW Athletics joins "You Can Play" project supporting athletes of - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW Athletics joins "You Can Play" project supporting athletes of all sexual orientations

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The University of Wisconsin has joined "You Can Play", a project dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.

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.

UW women's hockey goalie and out member of the LGBT community, Ilana Friedman, praised the university's decision to join.

 “As an out member of the LGBT community, the ‘You Can Play’ project is the perfect fit for UW Athletics,” said Friedman. “The mission statement of UW-Madison and UW Athletics is heavily echoed by the goals of YCP and I am so happy to have helped bring this initiative here to UW. The support and reception from my teammates, fellow Badger athletes, staff from inside the athletic department, and the larger Madison community in response to YCP has been overwhelmingly positive and shows how progressive and outstanding the Wisconsin Badger community truly is.”
UW joins hundreds of college athletic departments, high schools, pro teams and other sports organizations already involved in the "You Can Play" project.

“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.
“Through the ‘You Can Play’ project, we are able to communicate to various audiences, most importantly our student-athletes, that Wisconsin Athletics provides inclusive, safe and supportive environments no matter who you are,” said Bridget Woodruff, UW’s Director of Student-Athlete Development. “It allows us to send a message that we are all Badgers and I hope it empowers student-athletes to speak up if they have concerns.”
To illustrate Wisconsin’s support for the “You Can Play” project, the athletic department produced its own video, centering around the message, “If you can play, you can play.” Numerous student-athletes and coaches took part in the video, including (among others) Malayna and Michala Johnson (women’s basketball), Chris Borland (football), Nigel Hayes (men’s basketball), head coach Chris Clark (men’s rowing), head coach Yvette Healy (softball), head coach Mick Byrne (cross country/track & field) and Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez. There are also appearances from UW athletics and campus staff members like Dean of Students Lori Berquam.

 The video is available here on the official YouTube page of Wisconsin Athletics.

It will be used by the UW Student-Athlete Development staff during student-athlete orientation and clips of the video will be shown during Badgers sporting events in Camp Randall Stadium, the Kohl Center and LaBahn Arena.
For more information on “You Can Play” please visit the project’s website here.

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