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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ted Rybka
NEW YORK, NY (May 25, 2016) – Today Athlete Ally presented to the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Board of Governors a series of adoptable recommendations to ensure the safety of LGBT coaches, fans and staff at all NCAA events. While praising the NCAA’s recent new anti-discrimination procedures for choosing championship sites, Athlete Ally, along with more than 40 other non-profit organizations, offered guidance on what would constitute an “inclusive environment.”
The NCAA’s new anti-discrimination requirement was announced on its website on April 27, 2016. It states that a site wishing to host any NCAA event must “provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone involved in the event.” The new anti-discrimination procedures and stronger statement of commitment to the LGBT community was in direct response to recent anti-LGBT laws adopted in some cities and states.
In support of the NCAA’s efforts to develop new criteria for their new site evaluation process, Athlete Ally’s Director of Policy Ashland Johnson created a five-page memorandum. The memorandum outlined recommendations in three sets of categories: inclusion under the law, inclusion at facilities and events and inclusion in outreach and vendors.
Hudson Taylor, Executive Director and Founder of Athlete Ally, believes the recommendations issued are common-sense steps. “We are very excited to present these recommendations to the NCAA and pleased to have so many outstanding organizations standing with us. If adopted, sites in cities and states with anti-LGBT laws, will most likely find themselves on the outside looking in. There is no place in sports for discrimination and we want to make sure those who do discriminate aren’t awarded the honor of hosting an NCAA event.”
Explaining the importance of the recommendations, Johnson stated, “It’s powerful when organizations publish official comments of support to the LGBT sports community, but it’s important they back up words with action. The NCAA has shown time and again it wants what’s best for the student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans. Adopting inclusion standards that adhere to these recommendations would show tremendous leadership.”
Highlights from the sign-on letter and a list of all organizations who support the recommendations can be found here.
About Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers the athletic community to take a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports. Athlete Ally works with MLB, the NBA, WNBA, and NBPA on player development and LGBT inclusion. It also co-wrote the NCAA’s LGBT policies and resource guides and partners with over a hundred professional athletes and college campuses to promote LGBT equality and respect.
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