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Sports News:
Luke Prokop, Nashville Predators prospect, first active player on NHL contract to come out as gay

Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop on Monday grew to become the first active player on an NHL contract to come out as gay.

Prokop, a 19-year-old defenseman, issued an announcement on social media.

“From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams,” he wrote within the assertion.

Prokop added that he hopes his announcement “will help others see that gay people are welcome in the hockey community.”

The Edmonton, Alberta, native was chosen within the third spherical of the 2020 NHL Draft by the Predators. He signed a three-year contract with Nashville in December.

Prokop’s announcement comes a couple of month after Carl Nassib, the Las Vegas Raiders defensive finish, grew to become the first active NFL player to come out as gay.

After Prokop made his announcement, it was met with constructive response from these within the hockey neighborhood.

Prokop, who performed with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League final season, was an alternate captain. WHL Commissioner Ron Robison shared his assist for Prokop in an announcement.

“The entire WHL community is proud of Luke for sharing his true self today,” Robison mentioned. “We commend and recognize Luke for courageously standing as a role model for other young hockey players and people in the LGBTQ+ community, especially those within and close to the WHL.”

NHL Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr mentioned he applauds the instance Prokop set for others within the sport.

“NHL players commend the courage demonstrated by Luke Prokop to disclose his truth,” Fehr mentioned in an announcement on social media. “Luke’s announcement also reminds us how important it is to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for all who play the game. Hockey is for everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman thanked Prokop for “being so brave” in making his announcement.

“I share his hope that these announcements can become more common in the hockey community,” Bettman mentioned in an announcement on social media. “LGBTQ players, coaches and staff can only perform at their absolute best if they live their lives as their full true selves.”

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