LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge Press Release

By | LGBT SportSafe | No Comments

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge today. The SAAC Challenge launches in partnership with 20 colleges and universities committed to creating an inclusive athletic culture for student-athletes, coaches and administrators.

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representatives from LGBT SportSafe member institutions kicked off the challenge by creating a short video sharing what being LGBT SportSafe means to them and why inclusion is important. Each video has a creative element in which SAAC leaders had to follow certain guidelines, such as playing a sport or musical instrument, while producing the video to show LGBT student-athletes are more than just a label.  

Additionally, in the spirit of friendly competition, most schools challenged up to 3 rival institutions to join the movement to create a more inclusive sport culture. The community can vote for their favorite SAAC video on the SAAC Challenge website by clicking the “Cast Your Vote” button next to each video today until Friday, March 30th. The school with the most votes at the end of March will win the 2018 LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge Award.

The Spring 2018 inaugural cohort of 20 institutions challenged 55 rival institutions to join the LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge. To accept the challenge, schools being challenged who qualify for the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program must join the program, develop a strategic plan to improve the athletic department culture and create a video for the challenge. Schools that accept the challenge will be a part of the Fall 2018 cohort.

“Ultimately, we hope the LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge will create an inclusive culture led and driven by our student-athletes. This is an opportunity for the entire athletic community to come together in the spirit of healthy, friendly competition,” said LGBT SportSafe Co-founder, Nevin Caple. “Many athletic administrators are trying to take a more sustainable approach to inclusion and we set out to provide the educational tools, resources and collaborative partnership to help them reach their goals.”

The LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program was founded to create an infrastructure for athletic leadership to support LGBTQ inclusion in college and professional sports. LGBT SportSafe launched in partnership with University of Oregon, Northwestern University and University of Nebraska, using a new framework, the 3-Peat Model, to help administration champion a culture of respect and inclusion.



Dr. Eric Lueshen,

Nevin Caple,

LGBT SportSafe SAAC Challenge Website:

Follow us on social media: @LGBTSportSafe + #WeAreLGBTSportSafe


LGBT SportSafe Spring 2018 Inaugural Cohort

Binghamton University

Bowie State University

DePauw University

Fayetteville State University

Northwestern University

Pace University

Shaw University

Soka University

Stony Brook University


UMass Lowell



University of Albany

University of California, Berkeley

University of Hartford

University of Nebraska

University of Oregon

University of Vermont

Winston-Salem State University

Pace University Athletics Earns Gold Medallion Status with LGBT SportSafe Partnership

By | LGBT SportSafe | No Comments

Pace is the first Northeast-10 Conference institution to be designated as a Founders Club member

The Pace University Athletics Department has received “Gold Medallion” status and prestigious Founders Club membership with LGBT SportSafe in recognition of its efforts to build a more inclusive athletics community and an environment of respect for LGBTQ student-athletes. The LGBT SportSafe program was created to develop a framework of programming, policy, and public awareness efforts to support LGBTQ inclusion in sports by athletic administrators, coaches, and other sport leaders.

“We are excited to partner with LGBT SportSafe,” said Director of Athletics Mark Brown. “Pace is a very diverse community and we are proud of our inclusion efforts for all of our student-athletes. It is important that we embrace these initiatives that will continue to build awareness and appreciation for everyone.”

Pace will be the first institution in the Northeast-10 Conference to receive this status and implement the LGBT SportSafe program, and only the second NCAA Division II member. The Pace Athletics logo will be featured as a Founders Club member on the LGBT SportSafe website ( The Founders Club is an elite group of early leaders in LGBT inclusion that currently includes the University of Nebraska, Northwestern University, the University of Oregon, UCLA, Temple University, Southern Oregon University, University of Colorado, University of North Carolina, and Fayetteville State University.

“LGBT SportSafe is thrilled to welcome Pace University Athletics to the program as a Founders Club member,” said Dr. Eric Lueshen, LGBT SportSafe Co-Founder and Managing Director. “As our first Northeast-10 Conference school, Pace has made a strong commitment to LGBTQ inclusion in sport and has shown that they are an institution to emulate.”

On December 7, 2016, Pace Athletics hosted its first-ever LGBTQ Pride Hoops Night when the Setter basketball teams hosted Southern Connecticut State University at the Goldstein Fitness Center. The first 300 fans in attendance received a special edition Pride Hoops Night t-shirt and a portion of the proceeds from ticket sales benefited Center Lane LGBTQ Youth and Community Education Center, Westchester’s only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and community education center. Pace has scheduled this year’s Pride Night for Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

Each year, Director of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs Cornell Craig provides diversity and inclusion training for the Pace football team, while the swimming and diving teams have received Safe Zone training. Pace student-athletes have also participated in workshops and presentations where speakers such as Don McPherson have tackled topics including masculinity and identity, and Wade Davis spoke to LGBTQ students at a conference that was open to the entire Pace community. Others are scheduled for the upcoming academic year.

About Pace University Athletics
Pace University is an NCAA Division II member of the Northeast-10 Conference that sponsors 14 intercollegiate sports. In each of the last two semesters, 72 percent of Pace student-athletes achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and nine teams have been honored with the NE10 Team Excellence Award since 2011. Pace teams have made 13 NCAA appearances since 2011. In 2015-16, the department unveiled a multi-million dollar facility upgrade that includes two new turf fields. In addition, the new state-of-the-art 14,010 square foot Ianniello Field House recently opened with new locker rooms, new strength and conditioning facilities and a sports medicine component.

For all information regarding Pace University Athletics log on to and follow Pace Athletics on Facebook (T-Bone, Official Mascot of Pace University Athletics), Twitter (@PaceUAthletics) and Instagram (@PaceAthletics).

The 45th Anniversary of Title IX: Gender, Race & LGBT Inclusion of Head Coaches of Women’s Teams

By | LGBT SportSafe | No Comments


The special report, produced for the 45th anniversary of Title IX, is a partnership between LGBT SportSafe, The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, and the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the University of Minnesota.

Race and gender data for head coaches of women’s teams was collected for eight select NCAA Division I conferences including: American Athletic Conference (AAC), Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, the Ivy League, Pacific-12 (Pac-12), and Southeastern Conference (SEC). The eight conferences selected for this study were chosen to include the “Power 5” (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC). The AAC was included because of its potential to be a viable addition to the “Power 5” to create a “Power 6.” Finally, the Big East and the Ivy League, which both have female commissioners, were included to examine whether or not having a woman as a commissioner influenced inclusion efforts. Appendix A summarizes the distribution of schools by conference for 2016-17. Conferences were assigned a grade for race and a separate grade for gender, and recognition was included for LGBT inclusion practices at the institutional and conference level.

This report shows that equity in these eight conferences is far from being achieved regarding the hiring of women and people of color as head coaches of women’s team. In both race and gender, looking only at the Power 5 conferences, the percentage of coaches of color was just under 12 percent while it was 40.8 percent for women. Thus, the Power 5 was consistent with the eight conferences for race but had a lower percentage of head coaches of women’s teams. Efforts for race, gender and LGBT inclusion across conferences and institutions vary greatly (see Table 9 in Full Report). Based on the data in the report, the gender of conference commissioner does not appear to influence inclusion efforts across these three metrics. Additional data is needed to make definitive and statistically significant conclusions on this hypothesis.

Read the full report

For more information, contact:

Richard Lapchick, 407-823-4886

Nicole LaVoi, 612-626-6055,

Nevin Caple, 917-445-2014,

Todd Currie, 561-284-0921,

Destini Orr, 804-704-0195,

UCLA Athletics Joins LGBT SportSafe Founders Club

By | LGBT SportSafe | No Comments

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


Alliance of Women Coaches Announces Partnership With LGBT SportSafe

By | LGBT SportSafe | No Comments

The Alliance of Women Coaches and LGBT Sport Safe announced a partnership that will assist in creating inclusive athletic communities for coaches, administrators and student-athletes alike.

Launched earlier this year by co-founders Nevin Caple and Dr. Eric Lueshen, the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program was developed to create an infrastructure for athletic administrators, coaches, recreational sports leaders and professional sports leagues to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer inclusion.

“The Alliance is proud to take the lead as the first organization to partner with LGBT SportSafe,” said Alliance executive director Megan Kahn. “This partnership is another expression and opportunity for us to live out our mission and values in being a diverse and inclusive community. We are stronger together.”

LGBT SportSafe utilizes a new benchmarking framework to help athletic leadership champion a culture of respect and inclusion. The “3-Peat Model” addresses the importance of Programming, Policy and Public Awareness at all levels of sport, while offering incentives to institutions, teams and leagues that reach inclusion goals. The program, which launched with Founders Club members, University of Nebraska, University of Oregon, and Northwestern University, offers benefits for member institutions that actively engage in inclusion. These include a Gold, Silver or Bronze medallion for the athletic department website, a listing in the LGBT SportSafe national registry of inclusive athletic and recreational sport communities, and exclusive access to Coaches Corner, a comprehensive online resource for LGBT inclusion in sports which provides everything from webinars and model policies to discussion forums and best practices for athletic professionals.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Alliance of Women Coaches. The Alliance has played an integral role in creating opportunities for women, people of color and LGBT coaches to be valued and respected in their profession,” said Caple. “It means a great deal to announce the partnership during LGBT History Month, recognizing the trailblazers who paved the way for this partnership to exist.”

The Alliance of Women Coaches is the premier organization dedicated to leading the field of women coaches, at all levels, by providing support, resources, and unparalleled events and programs which address the needs and interests of its members. The NCAA Women Coaches Academy, conducted in partnership between the Alliance and the NCAA, is a unique, transformational in-person learning opportunity for female coaches. LGBT SportSafe practices will continue to be incorporated into the three Academies conducted annually and attendees will learn best practices and policies critical to creating an inclusive environment.

For more information on the Alliance of Women Coaches, visit

For more information on the LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program, visit