Egale is the Canadian partner of You Can Play Inc.
You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBT athletes, coaches and fans. 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.
In 2012, You Can Play was launched by Patrick Burke of the NHL along with Brian Kitts and Glenn Witman of GForce Sports. Brendan Burke, the brother of Patrick Burke and son of Brian Burke, made international headlines when he came out as gay in 2009. A few months after he came out, Brendan died in a car accident. You Can Play was founded in Brendan Burke’s honour.
Brendan’s message was a reflection of his own challenges as a gay athlete, and the traumatic experiences of thousands of LGBTQ+ athletes around the world who face homophobia and transphobia in their locker rooms, fields, rinks, and stadiums. It is a simple message for fans, coaches, athletes, and anyone in the sports space; it is applicable for any age, in any setting, and it remains the backbone of You Can Play’s mission – athletes should be given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by others only by what they contribute to the sport or their team’s success. You Can Play fights so that athletes of all levels are judged solely on talent, heart, desire and work ethic — and not on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Simply put, if you can play, you can play.
Education & Resources
- Trainings for athletes, staff, coaches, leagues, organizations
- Panels and speaking events about diversity and LGBT inclusion
- Connections and referrals to partner organizations
Programs & Events
- Pro partnership programs, such as the Hockey Is For Everyone Initiative
- You Can Play Nights (pro, collegiate, and community games)
- International and regional events such as Pride parades
Communications & Media
- Media talking points for leagues and partners
- Connection to media outlets
- You Can Play videos posted on website
Please consider donating today, by clicking on the logo above.