In 2012 the You Can Play Project was founded by Patrick Burke of the NHL along with Brian Kitts, a sports and entertainment marketing executive, and Glenn Witman of GForce Sports. Brendan Burke, the brother of Patrick Burke and son of Brian Burke, longtime NHL team executive, 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 honor. You Can Play’s Director of Professional Sports Outreach, Wade Davis, is a former NFL player and one of the few openly gay men to have played pro sports. Wade was a defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Seattle Seahawks, and two NFL Europe teams. You Can Play’s Vice President of Program Development, Chris Mosier, is a triathlete and duathlete and the first transgender man to make a men’s US National Team. He is the founder of TransAthlete.com, has advocated for policy change from the elite to the high school level, and is a leading voice in the movement for transgender and LGBTQ inclusion in sport.
You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete, judged by other athletes and fans alike, and 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.