After the NHL's awful lockout, we're glad to see that they're focusing on something within the sport that actually matters other than greed: they're joining the You Can Play Project, which mission is the end of homophobia in sports!
Patrick Burke, the son of the former Maple Leafs GM, heads up the project as his brother Brenden Burke was part of the Miami University hockey team when he revealed he was gay. He started the project in Brenden's honor, as he tragically passed away in a car accident shortly after his announcement.
You might remember the original launch of the group, and its mantra (above): if you can play, you can play. Talent should be the only thing that matters!
"The NHL sets the standard for professional sports when it comes to LGBT outreach, and we are incredibly grateful for their help and support. We will work with League and NHLPA officials, teams and players to ensure that we create a more inclusive hockey community at all levels."
This is huge, because a major sports league has never put an LGBT acceptance movement front and center. We can only hope this helps though hiding their true selves to be open with the world, and no longer have to play in secrecy!
Here's what the NHL commissioner had to say:
"Our motto is 'Hockey Is For Everyone,' and our partnership with You Can Play certifies that position in a clear and unequivocal way. While we believe that our actions in the past have shown our support for the LGBT community, we are delighted to reaffirm through this joint venture with the NHL Players' Association that the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands."
What's cool about this is that other than attaching the NHL official logo to PSAs, it means the You Can Play team will be present at the rookie symposiums, talking with the young players coming into the league.
This deserves praise!
We're really proud of the NHL for doing this, and we can only hope that other major leagues take notice!