Super Bowl XLVII - Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ersMajor sports starts in the Bay Area are coming together as one team in a new public service announcement to encourage gay athletes. As reported by MercuryNews.com on June 21, major stars like 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors have been featured in the PSA that began airing Wednesday on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

 The ads were created as an extension of the You Can Play project which was founded by Patrick Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers. The organization instills the values of “equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.”

Davis is seen in the ad glaring into the camera uttering the words:

“You want to play on our team? If you can play, you can play.”

The message is clear and will inspire athletes who may be afraid of coming out as gay on their sports teams that there are professional athletes who support them and they will be valued for their athleticism and not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

Gathering volunteers was easy for the Bay Area ads as many athletes jumped at the opportunity and the chance to support gay athletes. Chris Wondolowski, the 2012 Major League Soccer MVP and a member of the San Jose Earthquakes said he admires the courage and bravery it takes for these athletes to come out.

“I hope we can relay the message that athletes would love to have you as a teammate if you can play. And when you have a locker room full of supportive people, it makes the transition that much easier.”

With the coming out of Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport and MLS player Robbie Rogers, who was actually the first player to play in a game after coming out as gay, the issue of acceptance of gay athletes in professional sports has become a hot topic. Many professional athletes have spoken out that they wouldn’t have an issue while there were a few who said they would have an issue. The overall response has been positive and more now than ever before there is support ready to embrace gay athletes.

The new PSA released by CSNBA is an enhancement of the level of progress that has been made as far as tolerance, especially in the world of professional sports. It also gives kids another reason to look up to some of their favorite athletes and shows them that those athletes are also fans of theirs.

The ad also feature Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, Coco Crisp of the Oakland A’s and Marcel Reese of the Oakland Raiders.