Luke Prokop, a Nashville Predators draft decide and Alberta native, introduced Monday that he was “proud to publicly inform everybody that I’m homosexual.”
Prokop turns into the primary lively participant underneath NHL contract to come back out as homosexual.
“From a younger age I’ve dreamed of being an NHL participant, and I consider that residing my genuine life will enable me to carry my complete self to the rink and enhance my possibilities of fulfilling my desires,” he mentioned in a Twitter put up.
Prokop, 19, has spent the previous 4 seasons with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League after rising up in Edmonton. The six-foot-five defenceman was drafted within the third spherical by the Nashville Predators within the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and signed a professional contract with the franchise in December.
The Predators praised Prokop’s braveness on Monday and mentioned they’ll “assist him unequivocally within the days, weeks, and years to come back as he continues to develop as a prospect.” Nashville’s American Hockey League affiliate the Milwaukee Admirals, the place Prokop might find yourself beginning his professional profession, did in order properly.
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The NHL thanked Prokop for “sharing his fact and being so courageous.”
“I shared his hope that these bulletins can grow to be extra widespread within the hockey neighborhood,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned in a press release. “LGBTQ gamers, coaches and employees can solely carry out at their best possible in the event that they stay their lives as their full and true selves. We don’t take the which means and significance of this announcement flippantly.”
Prokop’s announcement was co-ordinated with an article revealed on The Athletic’s web site about his troublesome resolution.
Whereas each homosexual female and male athletes have wrestled with troublesome selections over time, males’s skilled sports activities leagues have typically been void of lively, open homosexual gamers.
Earlier this summer time, Carl Nassib of the Las Vegas Raiders turned the primary lively NFL participant to announce he was homosexual, with the workforce’s full assist. A number of NFL gamers have revealed they have been homosexual after their taking part in careers have been over, whereas Michael Sam did so in his draft 12 months, taking part in within the 2014 preseason with the Los Angeles Rams earlier than being reduce.
Skilled boxer Orlando Cruz, Robbie Rogers of Main League Soccer and Jason Collins within the NBA broke obstacles between 2012 and 2014 of their sports activities by asserting they have been homosexual.
The Nationwide Hockey League and Main League Baseball have but to see lively gamers who have been capable of be open about their orientation. Billy Beane, who’s homosexual, wrote in a 2003 e-book concerning the challenges of attempting to navigate an MLB profession within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties whereas preserving his sexuality a secret.