By Ian Bush
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some Philadelphia Flyers are among the hockey stars involved in a new website and TV ad campaign designed to root out homophobia in sports. The commercial debuted yesterday during the Rangers-Bruins game.
“If you can score,” the Flyers’ Claude Giroux says, “you can score.”
And, “if you can play,” Scott Hartnell adds, “you can play.”
Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke and his son Patrick, a Flyers scout, are behind the You Can Play Project. In the video, Burke explains the mission of the project is to, “Ensure that LGBT athletes around the world are afforded equal opportunity, judged only by their talent, character, and work ethic in their sport.”
It’s inspired by his younger brother, Brendan, who came out while playing for a college hockey team. He died in a car crash a couple years ago.
To be sure, there are gay athletes in pro sports, but none is open about it. Patrick Burke says this star-studded effort seeks to break down barriers in all sports at all levels, and to keep conflict confined to the game at hand — and out of locker rooms and stadium seats.