Of all the sports to spearhead an equality campaign, I would not have picked hockey. And this is not because I don’t think there are fair-minded, intelligent folks within the broader hockey community who would step up. I just didn’t think that it was a key issue in our sport, when our discussions tend to be more about violence, injury, and immigration laws.
I don’t think I’m giving enough credit, though, to the fact that hockey is grounded in Canada, where marriage equality has been legal for eight years now. I mean, the fact that this marriage proposal can take place and the crowd cheers rather than boos–that says a lot about the fanbase. (H/t Puck Daddy.)
But regardless, watching the success, growth, and acceptance of the You Can Play project, with the whole Canucks team and over 40 NHL players on board in support, is not something I ever expected. And I am so incredibly grateful that it has.
You can play. And by stepping up and saying it publicly, it takes sentiment and makes it truth.