Out Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley (right) and teammate
WATCH: Notre Dame Tells LGBT Athletes 'You Can Play'

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com May 05 2014 5:48 PM ET

Notre Dame University hasn’t always been the friendliest place for LGBT students, but a new video from the Catholic school’s athletics department offers a welcoming message.

In the new video, which supports the You Can Play campaign for LGBT acceptance in sports, student athletes in several sports emphasize that athletic ability is all that matters, not sexual orientation or gender identity, making clear that “if you can play, you can play.” Some of the athletes identify themselves as out, including tennis player Matt Dooley. Dooley appeared recently in another video discussing the strong support he received from teammates when he came out as gay.

Notre Dame, long known for academic excellence and athletic prowess, has been moving toward a more accepting stance regarding LGBT students in the past few years, after some difficult times. In 2012 the Indiana school finally agreed to host an officially recognized LGBT student group, after organizers had made 15 requests for recognition. In 2010 the student newspaper came in for strong criticism after running a cartoon that made a joke about antigay violence, which resulted in the resignation of one of the editors.

Watch the sports video below.