UCLA Athletics Joins LGBT SportSafe Founders Club

By October 19, 2016LGBT SportSafe

UCLA logoLos Angeles, CA – The UCLA Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is pleased to partner with the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program as a Founder Club member. In addition, UCLA was awarded a Gold Medallion for being an institution that is committed to inclusion and has demonstrated that through programming and initiatives to provide a supportive and safe environment for all.

The LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program was founded in 2015 by Nevin Caple (co-founder of Br{ache the Silence) and Dr. Eric Lueshen (former Nebraska football player). The program uses an algorithm, the 3-Peat Model, to help administrators understand how to implement inclusive programming, policies and public awareness initiatives within their respective athletic communities.

“LGBT SportSafe is excited to welcome UCLA to the program as a Founders Club member,” said Lueshen. “UCLA has been a leader in LGBT inclusion in sport, and their partnership with us reaffirms their commitment to making the world of sport safe for all.”

Founders Club member schools have shown commitment to and helped set new standards in LGBTQ inclusion in sports. In addition to UCLA, current LGBT SportSafe Founders Club members include University of Nebraska, University of North Carolina, Northwestern University, University of Oregon, Temple University, Recreation Services at University of Colorado and the America East Conference.

“For nearly a century, UCLA student-athletes have seized opportunity and helped change how the game is played,” said UCLA Director of Athletics Dan Guerrero. “From trailblazing pioneers like Kenny Washington, Jackie Robinson, Arthur Ashe and Anne Meyers Drysdale who were not initially allowed in, but refused to be out, to activists such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton, UCLA has a proud history of breaking through barriers. Being a member of the Founders Club for the LGBT SportsSafe Inclusion Program directly aligns with our institution’s core values. This honor converges with our history of fighting for inclusion and social justice and should put everyone on notice that regardless of your race, gender, religious beliefs or sexual orientation, at UCLA, if you can play, you can play.”

UCLA Athletics involvement with LBGT SportsSafe is in addition to ongoing LGBTQ departmental initiatives that include the Athlete Allies initiative, the creation of LGBTQ panel discussions for student-athletes and coaches, participation in both the Fearless Project and ‘You Can Play’ national campaign and the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Committee. At the University level, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block recently signed the NCAA Pledge to promote Diversity and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics, specifically committing to the establishment of initiatives for achieving ethnic and racial diversity, gender equity and inclusion with a focus on hiring practices in intercollegiate athletics.

“We are extremely proud to be among an elite group of institutions at the forefront of LGBTQ inclusion in sports,” said UCLA Associate Athletic Director Ashley Armstrong, chair of UCLA Athletics’ Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “LBGT SportSafe is a great partner in our continued efforts to educate, support and provide resources for UCLA student-athletes, coaches and staff and is yet another example of our commitment to providing an inclusive environment where everyone is valued and respected.”

To learn more about the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program visit lgbtsportsafe.com.