COLCHESTER, Vt. - Through the guidance of members of the Saint Michael's College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the Purple Knights have lent their voice to the You Can Play Project by creating a video showing their support of a cause dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.
Senior Hillary Miller (Plattsburgh, N.Y./Plattsburgh), the Student Association Secretary of Athletics and SAAC representative from women's volleyball, and classmate Nicco Roque (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep), the SAAC representative from men's soccer, filmed, produced and edited the entire video, which includes student-athletes from nearly all 21 of the Purple Knights' varsity sports teams offering their support to the initiative. Their film will be unveiled to the public on Wednesday when You Can Play Executive Director Wade Davis visits McCarthy Arts Center for a presentation at 7 p.m. A former NFL player, Davis is an advocate, writer, public speaker and educator on gender, race and orientation equality.
"In the past few months, discrimination has been very present throughout our news media, and it continues to affect the lives of many families across the United States and the world," said Miller. "This video could not have come at a better time as here at Saint Michael's College, we are striving to ensure that everyone feels safe and at home without discrimination. The You Can Play initiative looks to bring awareness to LGBTQ athletes. Creating this video with Nicco has been an incredible experience. The goal of our video was to show acceptance for all people no matter your sexual orientation, gender, race, religious affiliation, ability or ethnic background. I was very impressed with the student body and their tremendous support for the making of this video. Here at Saint Michael's we value talent, skill and love for the game; if you can help us win, you can help us win. If you can be a Purple Knight, you can be a Purple Knight."
According to its website, You Can Play works to guarantee that athletes are given a fair opportunity to compete and 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. Saint Michael's joins colleges and professional sports teams from across North America in backing the You Can Play cause, with local institutions such as Middlebury College and the University of Vermont getting involved, as well as Northeast-10 Conference counterpart Southern New Hampshire University.
Miller and Roque were supported during the production of the video by not only fellow Saint Michael's student-athletes, but by various members of the Saint Michael's Community that included President John J. Neuhauser, Director of Athletics Geri Knortz, and the Athletic Training staff. Miller and Roque's video will be available online later this week via SMCAthletics.com. To learn more about the You Can Play Project, visit YouCanPlayProject.org.