Athletes that support #ProudToPlay…

“Proud to play means to me someone who is proud of all the things that makes them who they are, whether it be your race or religion or sexual orientation, heck…your height! It’s important to be proud of who you are. As a professional athlete, we accept that we are role models. It’s great that regardless of your sexual orientation, that the conversation was started and people started talking about being gay in professional sports. If you’re straight, just continue to be supportive. And if you see someone being bullied, or hear language that’s inappropriate, speak up and speak out. It’s very important to have those allies out there who are being brave for some of us who aren’t yet ready to be brave on our own.”

Jason Collins

“As more people come forward and are proud of who they are, and compete and do well, I think that will really change everything. I’m proud to play because I know I’m helping people. I know that there is young gay men and women out there, athletes who now have someone they can look up to in the sports world.”

Robbie Rogers

“Equality in sports has to be there for your team to be successful. It’s these little building blocks that you learn through playing sports. The bravery of being yourself is really the anchor of it all. You have to be brave in your own convictions, you have to be brave about who you are and you have to be brave to step forward and step into the spotlight and declare to the rest of the world this is who I am.”

Kobe Bryant

“I am proud to play because it is important for people to know that it is only the inclusion of the full spectrum of society that will make sport the truly unifying force it can be in the world. YouTube has always been a place where those without a voice in the mainstream could find a place to start a conversation. I know that the Proud to Play campaign can highlight the cause of those in the LGBT and straight ally communities who just want to be able to contribute to and seek enjoyment from sport.”

John Amaechi

“When I came out as a high schooler, there was no conversation about what it means to be an LGBTQ athlete: there were simply no role models and no public information for teenagers coming out in the athletic world. Coming out in college allowed me to create real relationships with my teammates – not ones based on secrecy, guilt, and shame. Coming out helped me to be stronger both emotionally as well as physically, and it encouraged me to get active on campus. These resources, on this type of platform, will affect way more young LGBTQ+ people than anyone could expect. I am #ProudToPlay.”

Eliana Yankelev

 

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