One Equal World

Out to Play works to improve college athletics

Posted on: May 4, 2012

With people like Nebraska Cornhuskers assistant football coach Ron Brown saying that he’ll keep speaking out about homosexuality- and that he’d be proud to be fired for his remarks, it’s no surprise that athletics is one of the last bastions of LGBT intolerance.


Campus Pride has recently launched an initiative focused on changing that environment.  Their “Out To Play Project” includes a list of the college athletic programs that are LGBT friendly, basing their decisions on official policies, individual coaches, and noted examples of athletes and teams being LGBT friendly.


Some schools included in the list are Bates College, Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Columbia University, Indiana University, Ithaca College, Kennesaw State University, New York University, Stanford University and Whitman College.


All of these schools are proud to be included in the list, and many have already announced their inclusion to the public via press release and college mailing.  The project is off to a good start, rewarding athletic programs that are creating a safe and inclusive climate for LGBT students and individuals.


Of course, as Pat Griffin over at Opposing Views brings up, basing the rank on LGBT tolerant coaches is not a lasting mark of campus friendliness.


“Coaches come and go as do athletes and LGBT friendliness can come and go with them. Real change, substantive change that is sustained even with the transience of coaches and athletes, must take place at the departmental level. Coaches and athletes who come into an athletic program need to know departmental expectations for diversity and inclusion for which they are responsible. That is how real change can be sustained.”


But it is a good first step.



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