UConn welcomes lesbian players to the team

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We told you about Br{ache the Silence (BTS) last month. The organization is working to end discrimination and homophobia in women’s sports and has just put out its first video in its Tour of Champions. The Tour’s purpose is to use NCAA Champion teams and individuals to send the message that LGBTQ athletes are welcome in women’s sports at its highest levels.

The first stop on the tour is Storrs, Connecticut home to the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball Team. The Huskies won the NCAA Championship a year ago and were voted number one in the coaches poll yesterday. The team has won eight national championships and has been at the top of the sport for more than a decade. When the top team in the country makes a video that says not only are gay players welcome here, but discrimination is absolutely not, it’s a message that filters down through other programs.

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If you’re a basketball player who is good enough to play at UConn, and can stand Geno Auriemma, your skill is the only thing that matters, not your sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s a powerful message coming from any team but it carries a special weight coming from one the perennial favorites in the sport. Women’s basketball has long been a place where negative recruiting (whispers about “lesbian teams”) has been used to attract the top talent and dissuade players from picking certain programs. With this history in mind, it’s a perfect place to kick off the Tour aimed at ending homophobia, bullying, and discrimination.

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BTS has more planned for its Tour of Champions and I look forward to more videos and more teams speaking out on behalf of inclusion. What do you think about the video and the choice to start with UConn?

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