The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center (YBMLC) and Athlete Ally have formed are partnering to raise awareness about and combat prejudice and homophobia in the sports community. The news comes after months of collaboration between the organizations to design a pioneering museum exhibit and programming on allyship in sports.
When asked about the significance of YBMLC’s partnership with Athlete Ally, Yogi Berra said: “Respect the game, respect others – that’s what I always learned in sports.”
Berra, whose playing career (1946-63) with the Yankees included 10 world championships and three MVP Awards, also added: “Whatever background or whatever you are, it doesn’t matter. Treat everyone the same, that’s how it should be.”
Athlete Ally is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging athletes, coaches, parents, fans and other members of the sports community to respect all individuals involved in sports, regardless of perceived or actual sexual-orientation or gender identity or expression. Athlete Ally works with professional, college and high school sports figures to use their influence to help stop anti-gay bullying and discrimination by championing respect, camaraderie and inclusion.
Consistent with its history of culturally diverse programs, the YBMLC, in partnership with Athlete Ally, will unveil a new exhibit in mid-June 2013 entitled “Championing Respect.” The 800-square foot exhibit will examine the evolution of societal attitudes around inclusion and acceptance in sports, from Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball in 1947 to the courageous strides made by women in the sports world, up to the current social movement to end homophobia in sports. The exhibit will focus on the critical role played by athlete allies in accepting and respecting all people, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
“We are delighted to partner with Athlete Ally and commend their impressive work in empowering allies and helping change the sports culture for the better,” said Dave Kaplan, director of the YBMLC. “Collaborating on these programs, and developing Championing Respect, will serve to educate more people and provide insight into how individuals and movements can change existing prejudices within athletics.”
Under the leadership of Founder and Executive Director Hudson Taylor, Athlete Ally will design a series of sustainable programs for the YBMLC, providing ways for coaches, parents and young athletes to prevent homophobia, ensuring that every athlete feels welcome and respected on and off the playing field.