Notre Dame is the latest big-time sports school to release a You Can Play video, laying out a red carpet for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender athletes and coaches and committing to an environment where LGBT people can participate freely in sports. The video involves athletes who play for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in football, track & field, tennis, golf, fencing, basketball, volleyball, soccer and others.
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The piece starts with a statement by Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick that it seems was impossible just a few years ago when the school was banning LGBT student organizations:
"Because the university values LGBTQ students in the Notre Dame community, as indeed it values all of its students, the university is committed to fostering an environment of welcome and mutual respect that grounded in its Catholic mission."
Earlier this year, Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley came out publicly on Outsports in conjunction with You Can Play. He was instrumental in making the video happen, and the reception of his story at Notre Dame has been overwhelmingly positive.
You Can Play founder Patrick Burke summed it up on Facebook as only Patrick Burke can:
The University of Notre Dame becomes the world's premier Catholic institution to speak out for LGBT inclusion in their athletic department. In a video featuring out athletes, the athletic director, and multiple members of every single sports team on campus, my alma mater steps up in a big way to help change the climate on the ND campus. So fucking happy and proud right now.