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Miami Univ. Pride Day is particularly meaningful for this gay field hockey coach

The Miami (Ohio) field hockey team has embraced LGBT equality, hosting a Pride Day against the Univ. of North Carolina on Oct. 16.

The Miami (Ohio) field hockey team is embracing LGBT pride.

On Sunday the Miami Univ. field hockey program had the privilege of hosting Pride Day during our game against the third-ranked Univ. of North Carolina.

We say it was a privilege because it is just that – the privilege to have the right to assemble with whom we choose, support whom we want, and love who we are. It’s a privilege that cannot be taken lightly, and it’s as much a responsibility as everyone else.

Part of the culture we have in our program is to be the best citizens we can be, and to be engaged members of our community—whatever community that is: hockey, athletic department, Miami University, or our surrounding cities and towns, both here and at home.

Our hope is that as people come into the program they share these core values and work not just for four years, but for the next 44 years. Our program mission statement is simple: The Miami Field Hockey family, in the pursuit of excellence, develops lifelong champions of character through commitment, Love and Honor for one another.

It should be noted that “Love and Honor” is a phrase that Miamians hold dear to our hearts, and it is at the very core of what we do on a daily basis.

We strive every day to graduate champions. “Graduating champions” is our focus in the Miami athletic department. But it’s not just about getting through school with a degree and winning games. It’s about being champions in life…and the wins and losses take care of themselves.

One of the greatest soccer players of all time, Mia Hamm, once said, “The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.”

The same is true of champions off the field. Those who champion causes are the ones who do them every day, not in the presence of a press conference, but just because that is who they are.

So yes, the Miami field hockey team hosting a Pride Game was a visible act of championing a cause. But as Plato said, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” We have been given a gift of power to reach audiences through the visibility of sports.

Power is a privilege, and with privilege comes responsibility. We have a responsibility to be good citizens. To love one another and to honor the basic fundamental rights of others.

Sunday’s game was nothing more than our exercising fundamental right to love who we want. We can play a sport we love, and we support the fundamental right of loving who you love.

We appreciate Spectrum, the student-led LGBTQ group on campus, for coming to the game on Sunday. We were thrilled to have members of their executive board toss the coin at the captains’ meeting, and we are so proud of them living their lives every day as an example for others – living life as they are. Thanks for letting us be a small part of your lives on Sunday, and for giving us the privilege of being able to express ourselves.

Chip Rogers is assistant coach for the Miami Univ. field hockey team. You can find him on Facebook.