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MAMMOTH TEAMS UP WITH ‘YOU CAN PLAY’ PROJECT IN SUPPORT OF LGBT ATHLETES

The Colorado Mammoth became the first professional sports team in the state, and the first lacrosse team overall, to support the You Can Play Project, an effort dedicated to erasing homophobia in sports.

A video of Mammoth players released today by You Can Play features 2012 National Lacrosse League MVP John Grant Jr., 2012 NLL Rookie of the Year Adam Jones, forward Jordan McBride and defenseman Dan Coates saying they’d support any player, regardless of sexual orientation, on their team.

“You Can Play is extremely proud that the Colorado Mammoth and the sport of lacrosse are joining an effort that recognizes ability and talent in sports, and not sexual orientation or other discriminatory factors,” said You Can Play president Patrick Burke, who is a talent scout for the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers. “Players like these are the future of equality in sports.”

“My job as general manager of the Mammoth is to field the best team I can in our quest to win our second Champion’s Cup,” said Steve Govett, who also serves as team president. “I applaud the vision and mission of You Can Play, and feel fortunate to work with Patrick and Brian [Kitts].”

Kitts, a You Can Play co-founder, is a former Kroenke Sports marketing executive and is now an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and a marketing director for the City of Denver. Founded in 2012, You Can Play videos have included NHL all-stars, Major League Soccer players and prominent college athletic programs.

“The Mammoth is setting a standard for other teams and for the sport of lacrosse,” said Kitts. “The team gives a tremendous amount to this community, and as a Denver-based non-profit, we’re especially proud that the Mammoth is now leading the way for our city and the entire sport.”

Mammoth players will also appear in the upcoming release of a Team Canada You Can Play video. The U.S. Men’s National Lacrosse Team and Major League Lacrosse’s Denver Outlaws will be featured in the near future as well.

You Can Play is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. The initiative 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.

Before losing his life in a 2010 automobile accident, Burke’s brother, Brendan, acknowledged he was gay while serving as the student manager of the Miami University hockey team. Their father, former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, is a You Can Play advisor.

The Mammoth will be in Philadelphia this Sunday, February 24 to take on the Wings at 2:00pm MST.

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