Source - Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop on Monday became the first active player under NHL contract to come out as gay. Prokop, 19, made the announcement in an Instagram post.
No NHL player, active or retired, has come out publicly.
The tides are changing, folks. The dominos are falling. I've said before and I'll say it again, all it takes is one professional athlete to come out and more will follow suit. A huge congrats to Luke Prokop on being that athlete. Here's what he had to say outside of his announcement on Instagram...
Prokop said he made his decision to come out in April when he returned from Calgary after his season ended because of COVID-19. "I was lying in bed one night, had just deleted a dating app for the fourth or fifth time, and I was extremely frustrated because I couldn't be my true authentic self," Prokop told ESPN. "In that moment I said, 'Enough is enough. I'm accepting who I am. I want to live the way I want to, and I want to accept myself as a gay man.'"
Prokop began coming out to some family members and teammates this past year and told Predators management he was gay in June. He said the Predators have been extremely supportive of him, including the first person he talked to from the team: assistant general manager Brian Poile.
"He in that moment showed me a lot of support and told me the Predators are behind me 1,000% and want what's best for me and that they're proud of me during this," Prokop told ESPN. "I remember getting off that phone call and tears just started coming from my eyes, I was so excited. And in that moment, I thought, this is what it's going to feel like for the rest of my life. For them to show that support that they did in that moment, it felt like I can rule the world."
It's tough to put into words exactly how significant this is, but I will say this…it's huge. Bigger than any of us can comprehend. I don't expect straight people to understand, but you have to take my word for it- having someone like you to look up to is life changing for an LGBTQ person. It's something 99% of adult gay people never had and that's finally changing.
Here's what the NHL had to say…
The league in general has always gone above and beyond when it comes to showing support for the LGBTQ community so it's great to see them continue to do so. Again, shout out to Luke Prokop for having the courage to do what so many before him couldn't. You're changing lives, buddy. See you next season.
If you haven't already, check out my episode of Out & About with Will Compton where we talk about professional athletes hesitation to come out. Timely stuff…