As if you didn’t get the message already with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” the breakout Seattle “Thrift Shop” duo are doubling down in a new YouTube video for the anti-homophobia campaign You Can Play.
“You know someone who’s gay, … athletes, musicians, people in your life. They just haven’t told you yet,” says Macklemore in the clip, during which he can be seen wearing a Seattle Supersonics jersey while playing a gig at Denver’s famed Red Rocks amphitheater. “Don’t let being gay hold you back, and if you’re straight, do not hold others back … Anti-gay language has no place in sports, or music. If you can play, you can play.”
On the one-year anniversary of the Play campaign, 2013 mtvU Woodie Awards performer Macklemore becomes the first major music star to speak out on behalf of You Can Play, which is seeking to challenge homophobia in sports.
In the PSA, Mack talks about the great friends and family the duo has who are gay. “You know what? It doesn’t matter,” he says. “It could be baseball, football, basketball, soccer, piano, an instrument. If you have the skills, talent and heart you can play.”
In addition to standing up for gay rights, Macklemore and Lewis have been vocal about their love of their hometown Seattle Mariners baseball team, even penning a tribute song to late Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus in 2011 called “My Oh My.” They performed the tune on opening day in 2011 and it has become a staple of Mariners games ever since.
“Guys like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have a platform and presence that can change attitudes,” said You Can Play president Patrick Burke in a statement announcing the PSA. “They reach a massive worldwide audience and we’re proud that they’re working with You Can Play to voice equality LGBT athletes and fans in both sports and music.”
Philadelphia Flyers scout Burke founded You Can Play following the car crash death of his brother, Brendan, who came out as gay while he was hockey team manager at Miami University.
Among the athletes and teams who’ve filmed support videos so far are members of the University of Denver men’s and women’s basketball teams, Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and Edmonton Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney, as well as athletes from Duke, George Washington, the University of Cincinnati, Northeastern and Bates College.