How This Founder Helps Create a Safe Space For LGBTQ+ Athletes

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So how can diversity and inclusion become the standard rather than the outlier when it comes to sports? “If institutions don’t provide mandatory training to staff, we can’t expect them to show up knowing how to address systemic racism or the harm student athletes experience as a result of being stigmatized,” Caple said. “There also needs to be a willingness to ask the hard questions of yourself first. To really begin the healing process, those of us who are straight or cisgender or white must be willing to interrogate what it means to be straight, cis, or white in a world that rewards those experiences.”

Though the work of self-reflection is often messy and complicated, Caple said the sports world is the perfect arena in which to be shining a light on these issues. “Sports build relational trust where we learn to speak each other’s language and have each other’s backs,” she said. “No matter where you come from, your race, gender, orientation, socioeconomic status, we share the same spaces. We have the opportunity to learn and lean into different cultures just by being proximate — when we’re proximate with each other, it becomes hard not to see yourself in someone else.”

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