Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Tackle Homophobia in Sports

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Tackle Homophobia in Sports

- in Entertainment

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis at Sasquatch 2011Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the duo behind the biggest-selling single of the year, “Thrift Shop,” have teamed with the You Can Play Project in its effort to challenge homophobia in sports.

The platinum-selling artists filmed a video for You Can Play during the “Icelantic Winter on the Rocks” show earlier this month at Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside Denver.  In the video, Macklemore acknowledges gay family and friends, says anti-gay language has no place in music or sports, and that heart, talent and skill should determine someone’s ability to play music or sports, not sexual orientation.

“Guys like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have a platform and presence that can change attitudes,” said You Can Play president Patrick Burke.  “They reach a massive worldwide audience and we’re proud that they’re working with You Can Play to voice equality LGBT athletes and fans in both sports and music.”

You Can Play is a Denver-based non-profit with a mission to change the culture of locker rooms and sports venues and to encourage inclusivity in sports.  The organization was founded by Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, whose brother, Brendan, came out as gay while hockey team manager at Miami University.  Following Brendan’s death in a car accident, Patrick joined sports and entertainment marketing executive Brian Kitts and LGBT sports activist Glenn Witman to form You Can Play.

“Music and sports overlap in popular culture,” said Kitts, who also teaches sports and entertainment marketing at the University of Denver.  “A message in support of LGBT inclusion is incredibly powerful when it’s delivered by guys who are both hugely popular musicians and who also can speak to sports fans.”

Macklemore’s and Lewis’s “Wing$” was the theme song for this month’s NBA All-Star game.  Their “Thrift Shop” hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in the United States and more than a dozen countries around the world.  “Same Love,” an open call for recognition of same-sex marriage, hit #1 in Australia and New Zealand last year. features video messages from hundreds of college, high school and professional athletes encouraging equality without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.  The organization celebrates its first anniversary next week, having released an average of one video each week during that year.

Source: You Can Play



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