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Major League Lacrosse to Team Up with You Can Play Project for Equality in Sports

March 18, 2016
Boston, MA (March 15, 2016)- You Can Play and Major League Lacrosse, the premier professional outdoor lacrosse league, announced today a strategic partnership in an effort to promote equality, promote inclusion and eliminate homophobia in sports.

“Partnering with You Can Play is an important way to showcase the League’s commitment to lift up absolutely everyone in the lacrosse community,” said Kevin Murphy, Brand and Marketing Manager at Major League Lacrosse. “Major League Lacrosse has been and always will be an all-inclusive environment that prioritizes solidarity, loyalty, and support for all. We encourage everyone to share in and enjoy lacrosse culture and community. We are committed to fairness on and off the field and recognize our LGBT fans and allies as an important part of our family.”

In 2005, the MLL’s Boston Cannons drafted goalie Andrew Goldstein from Dartmouth College. Goldstein had been previously publicized on ESPN for discussing his experience with coming out to his college lacrosse team. Goldstein is an advisor to You Can Play and remains involved with the lacrosse community including work with the “Courage Game,” an effort that honors LGBT kids and straight allies. Dr. Goldstein, now a stem cell researcher at UCLA, said, “Lacrosse has been a leader in the march toward equality and respect for all athletes. I feel honored that I was able to compete openly in the MLL with the full support of teammates, coaches, and the front office, and I’m proud of the efforts that will allow others to do the same.”

“We’re extremely happy to have Major League Lacrosse as part of the You Can Play Team,” said co-founder Brian Kitts. “Lacrosse has long been a leader in acknowledging that heart, talent and skill make great athletes, and that discrimination doesn’t build a team.”

Major League Lacrosse’s nine teams in Annapolis, Atlanta, Boca Raton, Boston, Charlotte, Columbus, Denver, Long Island, and Rochester will all host You Can Play recognition events and provide educational resources regarding LGBT issues in sports for athletes and fans. The teams also will participate in the You Can Play video campaign that showcases athletes, players and fans recognizing an athlete’s talent and commitment to sport over sexual orientation or gender identity. In previous years, the Boston Cannons have hosted You Can Play events and Denver Outlaws players have appeared in videos for You Can Play.

Major League Lacrosse joins a number of leagues in partnering with You Can Play including the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Football League, Canadian Women’s Hockey League and others.

The 2016 MLL season will kick-off on Saturday, April 23 with a rematch of the 2015 Championship Game as the New York Lizards begin their title defense versus the Rochester Rattlers. MLL newcomer, the Atlanta Blaze, play their inaugural game against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. The Ohio Machine travel to Florida to take on the Launch and the Boston Cannons will battle the Charlotte Hounds.

For more information on the upcoming 2016 MLL season, please see the 2016 Game Schedule.

To purchase tickets for the upcoming season, please see the vast ticketing options.

About You Can Play
You Can Play, a Denver-based non-profit organization, last year became the first to address the United Nations regarding LGBT issues in sports, and won both the National Education Association’s award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights and the first Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award from ESPN during its Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards.