Former NFL player Wade Davis and LGBT rights activist Darnell Moore are teaming up to create a sports camp aimed at empowering LGBT and straight-ally youth.
YOU Belong Sports & Leadership Initiative will host four camps throughout the year involving high school and college students, each one focusing on a different sport. The first YOU Belong camp will focus on basketball and will take place in Chicago, July 25-28. Plans are already in the works for future camps including football, soccer and track & field.
The camps will focus on two key areas of empowerment.
First is to let LGBT youth see they can exist in the sports world. With so few role models in sports, these youth are often overwhelmed by the straight-jock stereotype that pervades sports. The camps will provide safe spaces for these youth to participate.
The second goal is to empower allies to stand up against LGBT harassment. While athletes and students may behave when authority figures are nearby, Davis said the harassment and bullying takes place when athletes are away from coaches and teachers. Empowering allies to be allies in those situations is essential to YOU Belong’s work.