Equality on Ice: Ending Homophobia in Hockey

Viewing the hockey ice from inside one of the goal. The goalie is reaching to hit the puck. His head, inside a helmet, is turned to the side.Great news today:

The National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League today announced an historic partnership with the You Can Play Project that formalizes and advances their long-standing commitment to make the NHL the most inclusive professional sports league in the world.

The You Can Play Project is dedicated to eradicating homophobia in sports and making sports a safe place for LGBT players (that acronym is listed on their “Our Cause” page.

This is a big deal because, “the NHL becomes the first major American professional sports league to officially partner with an LGBT advocacy group on this scale.”

This announcement comes at a time when there is buzz that an active NFL player may come out publicly soon (possibly four at once). There’s chatter about the MLB, too, though that looks less promising. The NBA is a mixed bag: in February, Kenneth Faried became the first NBA player to team up with an organization fighting homophobia in sports (Athlete Ally); but then earlier this month, Phil Jackson said he has never known an NBA player who is gay. Sure, Phil.

As always, I am interested to see where all of this goes. I’m always hopeful that it is going somewhere with less hate and more openness.