Kewell unites behind 'You Can Play'

Melbourne Heart FC captain Harry Kewell has joined fellow Australian sports stars in uniting behind the 'You Can Play' campaign.

Melbourne Heart FC captain Harry Kewell has joined fellow Australian sports stars in uniting behind the 'You Can Play' campaign, which is a national Anti-Homophobia in Sport Initiative.

You Can Play is a national Anti-Homophobia in Sport Initiative bought to you by Play by the Rules. Play by the Rules is a national program that promotes safe fair and inclusive sport.

It is supported by multiple government and non-government partners including the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission, all state and territory departments of sport and recreation and equal opportunity commissions, the Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association and the Office of Childrens Guardian (NSW).

In 2013 Play by the Rules made a commitment to tackle the issue of homophobia in sport through an extensive media campaign. This was in response to to growing number of athletes coming out and speaking out about their experiences as a gay or lesbian athlete in Australia.

While this is an encouraging sign and good to see more athletes and people in sport willing to discuss the issue of homophobia, the general feeling is still that this is a minority and that many gay and lesbian athletes prefer to keep quiet through fear of prejudice and unfair discrimination.

The stories of athletes such as Gus Johnson in Hockey and Jason Ball in AFL exemplify how important it is that people in sport understand the impact that homophobia can have on gay and lesbian athletes. We want athletes to be proud of who they are and their achievements as people and athletes, regardless of their sexuality.

Other famous sports stars behind the initiative include cricketer Mitchell Johnson, rugby league player Nate Miles, basketballer Lauren Jackson and netballer Kim Greene.

For more information, visit http://youcanplay.com.au