SAN FRANCISCO - Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, the home of "Authentic Bay Area Sports," has partnered with You Can Play to produce a series of public service announcements for the You Can Play Project, a social activism campaign striving to eradicate homophobia in sports. The PSAs will debut today on the 5:00 PM PT edition of Comcast SportsNet's "Yahoo! SportsTalk Live."
The You Can Play PSAs feature San Francisco Giants' Barry Zito, two-time World Series champion and 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner; Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp, 2007 World Series champion and 12-year MLB veteran; Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson, 2012 NBA All-Rookie First Team guard; San Jose Sharks' Joe Thornton, six-time All-Star and 2006 Hart Memorial Trophy winner; San Francisco 49ers' Vernon Davis, 2009 Pro Bowl tight end and seven-year NFL veteran; Oakland Raiders' Marcel Reece, 2013 Pro Bowl fullback; and San Jose Earthquakes' Chris Wondolowski, 2012 MLS MVP and two-time Golden Boot winner. These public service announcements promoting respect for athletes of all orientations are the first to feature such an A-list roster of professional players and figure to serve as a template for future campaigns on regional and national sports media platforms.
The You Can Play PSA video can be seen here.
Ted Griggs, President of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, said, "We are pleased to partner with You Can Play, a pioneering advocate for LGBT outreach and equality in sports. We support their overriding message that every athlete should be a good teammate and welcome others regardless of their sexual orientation. I am thrilled that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is the first regional sports network in the nation to produce a series of public service announcements with local professional athletes supporting the LGBT community in sports."
Patrick Burke, President of You Can Play, stated, "All of us at You Can Play are overwhelmed by this message from the Bay Area's professional male athletes through Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Letting every young LGBT athlete, coach, or fan know that they are welcome in every Bay Area arena shows tremendous heart, leadership, and character. We hope the wonderful LGBT community in the Bay Area knows that their local sports teams value their passion and will work to support them in return. We are grateful to Comcast SportsNet for donating the time and resources needed to help spread our message of inclusion to the Bay Area sports community."
In 2010, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area produced "Out. The Glenn Burke Story," a documentary chronicling Burke's legacy as the first openly gay Major League Baseball player, which was nominated for a Northern California Area Emmy Award and was a nominee for Outstanding Documentary at the 22nd Annual GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards. In 2012, the network, in partnership with NBC Bay Area, aired "The Last Barrier," an in-depth one-hour special examining the personal issues, teammate and locker room acceptance, and team ownership and fan reaction that gay professional athletes face when contemplating coming out during their playing careers.
About You Can Play
You Can Play is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation 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, 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.
About Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 13 local networks that deliver more than 2,400 sporting events annually, along with breaking news and comprehensive analysis, to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Houston, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, CSS and SNY. NBC Sports Regional Networks also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation's largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.