You Can Play

Gay athletes. Straight allies. Teaming up for respect.

Videos: Collegiate

George Washington University

The 2012-13 academic year starts with a blockbuster video from George Washington University.

When GWU’s director of athletics and recreation, Patrick Nero, began a push for the university’s student-athletes to join the You Can Play team, he knew he had a deep bench to pull from. Indeed, the Colonials’ video features 18 student-athletes from 10 different sports, and in several different languages. “We are committed to celebrating and supporting LGBT student-athletes,” said Nero. “Our student-athletes will be judged by the spirit they bring to the game, their support of the teammates and their dedication to GW, not by sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. At GW, if you can play, you can play.”

In releasing the video, the Washington, DC-based university’s president, Steve Knapp, reiterated GWU’s commitment to diversity and opportunity, while Timothy Kane, director of GWU’s LGBT resource center, applauded the video as recognition of the university’s LGBT students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Individuals appearing in the video include (in order): Seth Rudolph (men’s soccer), Amanda Zakeri (softball), Sara Mostafa (women’s basketball), Phillip Graeter (men’s swimming), Katherine Berry (women’s water polo), Nefertiti Roy (gymnastics), Julia Weir (women’s cross country), Juliana Stern (women’s cross country), Nicole Lacey (lacrosse), Tara Booker (women’s basketball), Kayla Carto (gymnastics), Will Ellingson (men’s rowing), Siddhi Salvi (women’s cross country), John Kopriva (men’s basketball), Dwayne Smith (men’s basketball), Abdul Shaban (men’s soccer), Roy, Patrick Nero (director of athletics and recreation), Patricio Garino (men’s basketball), Nemanja Mikic (men’s basketball).

And, while the student-athletes usually are the most visible of the You Can Play team, the start of a new school year is the perfect time to recognize those behind the videos. For every athlete who steps in front of a camera, there are those who wrote the script, organized the shoots, shot, edited, did graphics work and handled PR and publicity. All of us at You Can Play are grateful to the student-athletes we’ll work with this year. We also appreciate the work of all of the behind-the-scenes players whose effort is equally important in a fight for recognition and equality.

To those involved with the George Washington University video, thanks - we’re honored to have you on the team.

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