NHL Stars Use PSA to Combat Homophobia
Some of the NHL’s biggest stars are featured in a public service announcement promoting equality within the sport, regardless of sexual orientation.
Rick Nash, Duncan Keith, Corey Perry, Dion Phaneuf and Henrik Lundqvist are among the players who participated in the spot that debuted on NBC during Sunday afternoon’s broadcast of the New York Rangers’ 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The idea is part of the "You Can Play" project, which was created by Patrick Burke, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers and the son of Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.
Patrick Burke’s brother, Brendan, made headlines when he came out in November 2009 while serving as the manager of Miami of Ohio’s college hockey team. He was killed in a February 2010 car crash at age 21.
More than 30 NHL players have taped spots that will air throughout the remainder of the season.
"The messages are very simple, yet meaningful," Patrick Burke told The Canadian Press. "It’s variations of the idea that all they care about is winning, all they care about is having the best teammates and it doesn’t matter if the best teammate happens to be gay or straight.
"That plays no role in whether or not they would accept their teammate and that they would all be welcoming and supportive of an openly gay teammate."