All nine members of the intercollegiate
PAC-8 Hockey Conference on Thursday pledged their support for openly
The PAC-8 and all member teams
announced their support for the You Can Play Project, which works to end
discrimination and homophobia in the sport of hockey.
“You Can Play is thrilled to have the
support of the PAC-8 Conference,” Patrick Burke, co-founder of the
You Can Play Project and a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, said in
a statement. “Their athletes and administrators are showing
tremendous leadership in addressing this issue head on. We are
excited that LGBT athletes have a safe home in the PAC-8.”
Johnny Nguyen, executive director for
the PAC-8, added: “It's unfortunate that this sort of declaration
is still necessary, but the teams of the PAC-8, and the conference
itself, have pledged their commitment to creating a safe and
inclusive environment for all athletes in the locker room, and on the
“[H]omophobia at any level is simply
unacceptable,” he added.
PAC-8 teams include Arizona State
University, University of California-Berkeley, University of
California-Los Angeles, University of Oregon, Stanford University,
University of Southern California, University of Utah, University of
Washington, and Washington State University.
You Can Play Project honors the memory of Brendan Burke, a
college hockey player who in 2009 announced he was gay and advocated
against homophobia in sports, especially hockey. He tragically died
in an auto accident at the age of 21.