March 29, 2017

Fayetteville, NC – The Fayetteville State University Department of Athletics and Student Affairs Division took full opportunity to dive into this area of diversity and inclusion by bringing in Nevin Caple, a lead strategic diversity consultant and LGBTQ sports activist, for an enlightening and impactful day with student-athletes and athletic staff on Tuesday, March 28th.

The LGBT SportSafe Inclusion Program was developed to create an infrastructure for athletic administrators, coaches and recreational sports leaders to support LGBTQ inclusion in college and professional sports. As society becomes more inclusive in sport, discussion and education surrounding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) visibility continues to grow in importance.

"It was an honor and a privilege to work with the Fayetteville State University under the leadership of Chancellor James Anderson and Director of Athletics Anthony Bennett" said Caple. "College is a time of self-discovery. As more LGBTQ student-athletes find acceptance from friends and loved ones, athletic leadership plays an important role in laying the foundation to create an inclusive culture."

Caple focuses her work on meeting people where they are, instead of trying to change their values or beliefs. She provided best practices and policy recommendations to help coaches, administrators, staff and faculty implement LGBTQ inclusive behaviors. During her visit at FSU she specifically addressed topics such as how to manage dating and relationships on a team, finding common ground between religion and LGBTQ inclusion, and understanding the roles of coaches and administrators in creating an inclusive athletic community.

"This workshop was a worthwhile investment of time and resources,” said Anthony Bennett. “Ms. Caple’s style and delivery fit our institution. She puts audiences at ease to ensure we all relate and benefit from the presentation. I would definitely recommend her program for any campus and with any audience."

"Ms. Caple did a great job speaking with the student-athletes and presented a welcoming atmosphere to talk about a topic that is still seen as 'uncomfortable' for some,” said Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) president and football student-athlete Darreall Hamlett. “She sparked conversation among the student-athletes about LGBTQ in athletics and in general. She shared her story which connected with the audience in a unique way."

During her visit, Caple gave athletic administrators, coaches and student-athletes the opportunity to discuss the importance of creating an inclusive athletic environment and also ways to support all members of the athletic community, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. But more importantly she engaged the community with relevant discussion that promoted a safe space for personal reflection and a number of ways to champion respect within the department.

Caple commended Fayetteville State for opening their doors to her, and for opening their minds to her important message. The Broncos Department of Athletics has been better equipped to carry her message forward, while continuing to create an inclusive, safe and welcoming community.

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