Cal football, basketball, rugby part of terrific You Can Play video

The best thing about the video from the University of California-Berkeley for the You Can Play Project is the diversity of sports and voices, maybe the most diverse I've seen in these things. There are appearances by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, athletic director Sandy Barbour, football coach Sonny Dykes, men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery, women's basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb, men's soccer coach Kevin Grimes, lacrosse coach Ginger Miles and rugby coach Jack Clark.

To have coaches from the biggest sports -- football and men's and women's basketball -- is terrific, since the two men's sports have been the hardest to crack in terms of acceptance of sexual orientation. We also have appearances by two football players, linebacker Nick Forbes and wide receiver Bryce Treggs, among other Cal athletes.

The rugby addition is also significant since the sport is big at Cal. Head Coach Jack Clark is featured in the video and he was the coach of former Bear rugger Mark Bingham, the openly gay man who died a hero trying to bring down Flight 93 from terrorists over Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Cal video was the brainchild of former rower Heather Hargreaves, who co-founded Cal's Student-Athlete Gay-Straight Alliance (SAGSA) and is a Collegiate Ambassador for "GO! Athletes," a network of current and former student-athletes dedicated to fostering an open LGBT environment. She was moved by similar efforts by Duke, UCLA and Bay Area rival Stanford.

The video is also the first one where the You Can Play message is expressed in Hebrew (by women's basketball player Avigiel Cohen) and Norwegian (by women's crew member Ingvild Roennigen).


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