“You Can Play” Campaign

Courtesy of You Can Play Project

Courtesy of You Can Play Project

Taylor G. '17, Assistant Web Editor

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A university in California is telling athletes not to use phrases such as ‘like a girl’ or ‘man up’ as part of a new campaign against offensive language.

California State University located in Chico, California tells its athletes not to say these statements in new campaigns because they consider them ‘offensive’ terms.

These phrases are among many now considered inappropriate and downright offensive, according to a new educational campaign first reported by Campus Reform.

The campaign is called “You Can Play” and is a way for the university’s athletic department to police what people say.

“The whole purpose of this campaign is to open people’s eyes and let them see what these words mean and how hurtful they can be,” said Haley Kroll, the co-president of the university’s student athletic advisory committee.

Furthermore the athletic committee has been busy hanging posters all over campus featuring student-athletes urging people to avoid potentially offensive words and phrases.

The posters feature a number of familiar words and phrases that are considered to be offensive and downright racist. But there are also some other undesirable expressions such as “I don’t say Man Up because it insinuates that women can’t be courageous.”

The posters, which were produced by Chico State’s creative media and technology department, now hang in the university’s strength and conditioning center. They will also be displayed in one of the halls in December.

The purpose of the “You Can Play” campaign is to open people’s eyes and let them see what these words mean and how hurtful they can truly be. California State University is hoping it will cause people to think before they speak and be aware of the type of inclusive language they should be using.

This movement received an immense amount of feedback recently after the story hit Facebook ‘They are words and the truth hurts. Why should we all be so sensitive to other people’s opinions. We should be raised to not let other people’s opinions bother us,’ Facebook user Nick Kading wrote.

But others praised the initiative and said it was needed. A woman called the posters ‘wonderful’, adding, “I am frankly surprised at how many people still don’t understand, and are threatened and verbally violent when they see these.”

This campaign was inspired by a similar initiative by Duke University, which in 2014 also told students which words they shouldn’t be using as slang.

The students featured in these posters around the California State University campus have chosen the words for their posters.

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