National Hockey League Prospect Luke Prokop Comes Out as Gay, the 1st Player to Do So in NHL History
“Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay," Propok, 19, said in a social media post.
National Hockey League prospect Luke Prokop announced to his fans in a candid social media post on Monday that he is gay. He is the first player to sign to an NHL team that has come out in the history of the professional league, NPR reported.
“While the past year and a half has been crazy, it has also given me the chance to find my true self. I am no longer scared to hide who I am,” Prokop said. “Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay.”
The 19-year-old defenseman, who currently plays for the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League, said that since he was a young boy, he dreamed of being an NHL player.
“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," his statement read in part.
He added: ”I hope that in sharing who I am I can help other people see that gay people are welcome in the hockey community, as we work to make sure that hockey is truly for everyone.”
Prokop, who is from Edmonton, Canada, played the past four seasons with the Western Hockey League before the Predators selected him as the 73rd overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft, NPR reported.
Prokop has not played in an NHL game to date, according to CNN.
Sean Henry, President and CEO of the Nashville Predators, wrote on the team's social media that they were “proud of Luke for the courage he is displaying.”
“A long-stated goal in our organization is equality for all, including the LGBTQ community, and it is important that Luke feels comfortable and part of an inclusive environment as he moves forward in his career,” Henry said
Ron Robinson, commissioner of the Western Hockey league, called Prokop a role model to other young hockey players and people in the LGBTQ+ community.
Earlier this month, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib became the first active NFL to come out as gay, Inside Edition previously reported.
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