US Lacrosse, the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse, and the You Can Play Project announce agreement on a partnership to promote messages of inclusion and equality for all participants in the sport of lacrosse. Specifically, the two organizations will work together to increase LGBT inclusion through educational initiatives and resources for the lacrosse community.

The You Can Play Project strives to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports - including LGBT athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete and are judged by other athletes and fans 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.

Initial platforms for collaboration between the two organizations will include the availability of You Can Play resources on the US Lacrosse web site, uslacrosse.org, and on-site visibility for the You Can Play project at selected US Lacrosse events. US Lacrosse will also utilize its regional chapters’ network to provide further support for You Can Play messaging.

“US Lacrosse is honored to partner with You Can Play and is dedicated to supporting a clear message of inclusion, equality, respect and safety for all athletes regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Melissa Coyne, director of games administration at US Lacrosse. “We are committed to ensuring that all lacrosse participants are given a fair opportunity to compete and are celebrated for their athletic achievements on the field.”

US Lacrosse is the first U.S. national governing body to partner with You Can Play, and joins a number of other organizations that are also affiliated with You Can Play, including Major League Lacrosse, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Football League, and Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

“US Lacrosse is showing a real commitment to its athletes, their families and fans by recognizing the talents of LGBT athletes and building straight allies - all of whom love the sport of lacrosse," said You Can Play co-founder Brian Kitts. “US Lacrosse's stance as a national governing body ensures fairness across the entire sport.”

US Lacrosse is committed to creating a safe sport culture and seeks to foster a lacrosse community that encourages understanding, appreciation and acceptance of all within its membership, volunteer base, and staff. US Lacrosse believes that broad representation and participation add significant value to the lacrosse experience of all, and that these valued experiences are enhanced by embracing underrepresented and underserved communities.

“It is essential that the national governing bodies of sport not only support a message of inclusion and equality but that they take real actions and steps to provide a safe and healthy environment for all athletes,” Coyne said.

More information about You Can Play can be found at youcanplayproject.org.

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