I love hockey and there’s about a million reasons why, but one reason I do is the community support. Hockey fans and teams are supportive. Yeah, we’ll chirp at each other but we all come together as a community.
You Can Play Project is dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientationsupports LGBT athletes.
It takes courage to make a stand for the something you believe in and I love the courage that hockey players and fans have shown in standing up and fighting for LGBT athletes.
Today on Spirit Day, I stand up and fight anti-bullying for all those that fell victim and lost their lives because of it. I stand up and fight anti-bullying for all those that feel as if they have no voice or that no one cares. I stand up and fight anti-bullying for the ones have been labeled. I stand up and fight anti-bullying for the straight and for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender.
As Matt Hendrick’s message “It should take courage to go into the locker room”and it shouldn’t take courage to walk amongst the world and be who you are.
Yesterday at the Charlotte Checkers vs Chicago Wolves game, the team aired a “You Can Play Project” video prior to the start of the game and I was so moved by the video and so proud to love a sport that is making efforts to change the way people think of LGBT community.
Some of my closest friends are gay and watching this spot, made me realize that though I am open minded and think love is equal that I did find myself using “casual homophobia” slang, like Patrick Burke mentions in Puck Daddy’s post. We all do it without thought and without meaning harm. Though my gay friends and my straight friends know I am not being anti-gay, I never thought about what a friend who isn’t out of the closet might be thinking or feeling by my poor choice of words.
Playing a sport or doing almost anything in this Universe isn’t about the color of your skin and it’s not about your sexual orientation. It’s about your work ethic, your passion for doing what you love, and skill.
Like the video says, “if you can play, you can play.”
I’m so impressed with the players, coaches, staff and the NHL for taking a stand and for making a difference. It makes my love of hockey and my passion for the sport mean so much more. The initiatives I see that come to life from the hockey world truly amazes me and to see fans get behind causes and show their support, is even more amazing.
And this isn’t the first time players or a team have stood up for the LGBT community. Brent Sopel (formerly of the Chicago Blackhawks) spent his day with the Stanley Cup in Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade and Sean Avery of the New York Rangers took a stand for marriage equality.
This won’t be the last stand for the hockey community and it won’t be just another article or commercial I saw that inspired me. As of yesterday, I am making a conscious effort to stop using words that might offend or hurt others. I support my LGBT friends and I promise to stand by them proudly.
We are equal and we are one human family.
For more information on We Can Play visit www.youcanplayproject.com