Yesterday, YouTube along with with parent company Google, launched the huge #ProudToPlay campaign, which honours LGBT athletes, and celebrates LGBT Pride Month.

“Sports bring together people from all backgrounds and experiences through a shared passion, and YouTube shares that spirit of connecting diverse communities to make a difference. In celebration of the upcoming games in Brazil and LGBT Pride month, we’re honoring the LGBT athletes, their supporters, as well as the YouTube Creators who stand up for diversity in sports and elsewhere-all of whom help create an equal and inclusive playing field for everyone.”

Raymond Braun, YouTube Marketing Manager

They are also now encouraging YouTubers to create videos about LGBT sports issues that YouTube will highlight over the next month. The YouTube pride logo, featuring a rainbow soccer ball, will be on every YouTube page.

This is huge statement by the top two sites and continues to build momentum for 2014 as the year of the gay athlete.

LGBT athletes including Jason Collins, John Amaechi, Kobe Bryant, Brittney Griner, Robbie Rogers, John Amaechi and Darren Young will be sharing their stories on YouTube.

Organizations including GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, You Can Play, Laureus, and the LGBT Sports Coalition are supporting this campaign and work to promote equality.

“As athletes from across nations and leagues come out, sports fans throughout the world are embracing LGBT players and ejecting bias from the game. GLAAD is thrilled to support Google and YouTube in this landmark initiative to help tackle stereotypes and build understanding.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO

YouTube released the following press statement:

From the Sochi Olympics to the recent NFL draft, this year has seen a growing, global conversation about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the world of sports. Many LGBT athletes are sharing their stories on YouTube, and the support they’re getting from teammates and fans has helped others find the courage to do the same.

Sports bring together people from all backgrounds and experiences through a shared passion, and YouTube shares that spirit of connecting diverse communities to make a difference. In celebration of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil and LGBT Pride month, we’re honoring the LGBT athletes, their supporters, as well as the YouTube Creators who stand up for diversity in sports and elsewhere—all of whom help create an equal and inclusive playing field for everyone. Inspired by #ProudToLove last year, we’re calling this effort #ProudToPlay.

We applaud the courage and openness of athletes at all levels who have come out and admire their teammates, friends, families, and supporters who are all proving that it doesn’t matter who you are or who you love—what matters is that you put forward your best effort. We stand with our community in the belief that youth everywhere should all have the same opportunities to grow up and pursue their dreams and passions, on or off the field…

Sports bring together people from all backgrounds and experiences through a shared passion, and YouTube shares that spirit of connecting diverse communities to make a difference. In celebration of the upcoming World Cup in Brazil and LGBT Pride month, we’re honoring the LGBT athletes, their supporters, as well as the YouTube Creators who stand up for diversity in sports and elsewhere—all of whom help create an equal and inclusive playing field for everyone.

Inspired by #ProudToLove last year, we’re calling this effort #ProudToPlay.

Join the conversation by uploading a video talking about what being #ProudToPlay means to you. Over the course of Pride month, Logo (our parent company) will share a collection of videos about the LGBT community and sports on theYouTube Spotlight Channel.

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