The Columns

W&L Athletics: If You Can Play, You Can Play

— by on February 4th, 2015

The Washington and Lee Generals proudly join the effort to support and spread the message of the You Can Play project by embracing and promoting all areas of inclusion and diversity within its athletics program, including sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity and religion.

The Generals’ You Can Play video is an example of the pride that the students have in their school, their teams and their teammates, along with the love and support that they show each other through whatever challenges they face.

Among the sentiments expressed in the video are:

“Everyone is accepted here for who they are, no matter what they believe in, no matter their sexual orientation, no matter what they look like – we all accept you for who you are and if you can play, you can play.” – Jok Asiyo ’16, Men’s Basketball

“What earns my respect is someone who is not afraid to be themselves, but also not afraid to stand up for others.” – Lindsay DeMuth ‘17, Women’s Lacrosse

“We love each other regardless of who we are, we are all there for each other all the time and it doesn’t make a difference, your sexual orientation, we don’t look at that. We see you as a teammate and we love you for who you are.” – Tommy Thetford ‘18, Swimming

Washington and Lee supports 24 varsity athletics teams featuring more than 480 student-athletes. The Generals are a member of the NCAA Division III and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and they have maintained a tradition of success on the field, having claimed the ODAC’s Commissioner’s Cup as the top overall athletic program in the conference 18 of the 20 years it has been presented.

“At W&L, the entire campus works to let students know we welcome them and accept them for who they are. That same message is true in athletics,” said Director of Athletics Jan Hathorn. “We want student athletes to feel free to be themselves, and know that we accept and respect them for exactly who they are and what they add to our teams.”

Founded in 1749, W&L is among the oldest Universities in the United States, and is a school that is rooted in a variety of traditions among them the Honor System and a top-notch athletics program. The Honor System has as its central theme that all students behave honorably in all they do.

To that end, Washington and Lee students embrace and promote inclusion in the student body and especially within the department of athletics, where being part of a team means embracing everyone towards the achievement of one common goal – to be the best you can be. At W&L, if You Can Play, You Can Play!