Thursday, June 16, 2016 — TORONTO – The Canadian Football League (CFL) and You Can Play have launched a joint apparel line today that will bring fans and players together to promote inclusivity and acceptance.
The line of lifestyle headware and apparel is the next step in the relationship between the CFL and You Can Play and highlights the League’s continued commitment to equality and diversity. It features New Era hats and stylish items from Levelwear, including t-shirts and polos, and is supported by all nine CFL teams and several CFL licensing partners. 25% of the proceeds from the sale of these items will fund You Can Play’s activities and outreach within Canada.
See the apparel on CFLShop.ca
CFL Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge, along with You Can Play Co-Founder Patrick Burke and Kevin Coon, Managing Partner at You Can Play’s pro bono law firm Baker & McKenzie, will be at the Toronto Stock Exchange this morning to open the market and reaffirm their partnership.
Later tonight, a celebration at Bymark in downtown Toronto will follow and signal the coming together of the sport community and LGBTQ leaders to commemorate this partnership. The launch will feature remarks from the Commissioner regarding the CFL’s commitment to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all athletes, staff, and fans to play, work, and cheer. His Worship John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, will be in attendance. The Grey Cup, accompanied by two Mounties of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police will also be present to mark the occasion alongside senior representatives from hosts Baker & McKenzie.
“We are incredibly excited to share this important opportunity with fans of every CFL team to wear their pride,” said CFL Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge. “We have a deep commitment to LGBTQ inclusion on the field, in the stands, and in our boardrooms, locker rooms, and front offices. I’m proud that our strong partnership with You Can Play is reaching this new level, and we're looking forward to furthering this relationship."
"You Can Play is extremely proud to partner with the Canadian Football League in providing a way for teams and fans to show their support for LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans," said Glenn Witman, Co-Founder of You Can Play. "This merchandise will be worn with pride by fans of both the CFL and equality."
“It’s wonderful to see these two great organizations continue to be united on such an important issue,” said Baker & McKenzie Managing Partner Kevin Coon. “Diversity is in our DNA, and we’re proud to be hosting tonight's celebration and working together on our common goal of diversity and equality in the workplace.”
In June 2014, the Canadian Football League and the Canadian Football League Players’ Association announced a partnership with the You Can Play Project that provides a confidential and anonymous system through which CFL players, coaches and staff can receive support, training, counseling, or other resources as needed.
Earlier this year, You Can Play held training sessions for CFL coaches at the CFL Combine as well as workshops in locker rooms and front offices for CFL teams. The CFL and You Can Play will be marching in the Toronto Pride Parade on Sunday, July 3rd alongside athletes and staff of other leagues and sport organizations.
About the You Can Play Project
You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBT athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on the athlete's skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation or gender identity. More information about You Can Play can be found at youcanplayproject.org.