Kent State Launches Video in Support of You Can Play Project

Kent State University is showing its support for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual (LGBT) student-athletes via a new video that champions the national You Can Play Project. The video’s release will be promoted on the university’s social media channels beginning Oct. 1, which marks the start of National LGBT History Month.



Kent State President Beverly Warren, Athletic Director Joel Nielsen and more than a dozen student-athletes are featured in the video, which promotes inclusion across the campus community while encouraging athletes to take part in sports with the confidence of knowing that Kent State accepts everyone for who they are.

“We want all athletes to know that we celebrate and support you unconditionally,” Warren said. “This video reaffirms our support for all student-athletes, and Kent State stands united in this mission.”

The video is about 1.5-minutes-long and supports the national You Can Play Project that was launched in 2012 as a way to end homophobia in sports among fans, players, coaches and the locker room while ensuring the safety and inclusion of all LGBT athletes.

“Kent State Athletics is proud to be included in an initiative like You Can Play, supporting inclusion and spotlighting a spirit of competition provided for all student-athletes,” Nielsen said.

Kent State is committed to offering a safe, secure learning environment that maximizes individual and collective contributions, thereby creating an environment that welcomes diversity of thought, continuous personal growth, academic attainment and above-average achievement. This inclusive excellence is a distinctive quality that characterizes great institutions.

“At Kent State, we honor equality, respect for difference and individuality in sports,” said Alfreda Brown, Kent State’s vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion. “It does not matter what the difference might be. If you can play, you can play.”

The video includes the support of Kent State’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Student Center, which provides resources and support for LGBTQ students and their allies from informed staff in a welcoming environment. The center, located on the lower level of the Kent Student Center on the Kent Campus, also strives to educate the campus community about sexual orientation and gender identity to ensure Kent State remains a safe space for all students.

For more information about the You Can Play Project, visit

For more information about Kent State’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, visit

For more information about Kent State Athletics, visit

# # #

Media Contacts:
Lyndsey Maurer, Athletic Communications Director,, 330-672-8467
Ken Ditlevson, LGBTQ Student Center Director,, 330-672-8580

POSTED: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 9:45am
UPDATED: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 3:20pm
Eric Mansfield