Tags: Gay Marriage | NHL | LGBTQ | ambassador | gender equality

NHL Announces Player 'LGBTQ-Inclusion Ambassador' For Each Team

Image: NHL Announces Player 'LGBTQ-Inclusion Ambassador' For Each Team

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf (15) uses a rainbow-colored hockey stick, honoring "Pride Night," as he passes past Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle (3) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Feb. 3 in Sunrise, Fla. (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 04:01 PM

The NHL is hosting events throughout February to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues and gender equality, The Washington Free Beacon reported.

The initiative, called "Hockey Is For Everyone," hopes to "focus awareness on such areas as LGBTQ; ethnicity and gender equality; socio-economic status and those with disabilities," the NHL said in a statement.

It is being carried out in cooperation with the The You Can Play project, which started five years ago to create a more inclusive environment for LGBTQ people in sports.

The league has compiled a list of You Can Play ambassadors that represents every team in the league, giving LGBTQ people on each club a player they can reach out to if they need support, SB Nation Outsports reported.

There are no openly known gay players in the NHL, the only American major professional sports league never to have a current or former player come out.

Among those who have volunteered to be an ambassador is Andrew Shaw of the Montreal Canadiens, who was suspended last year for using a gay slur while playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, CBC News reported.

"He wanted this responsibility, and I think it's a real tribute to the growth he's made in a short period of time," You Can Play co-founder Patrick Burke said.

Shaw told CBC he wanted to use his experience to make sure others know "the strength of words."

Responding to criticism he only did it as a publicity stunt and a way to restore his image, Shaw told The Chicago Tribune"I knew that was going to happen, but I did it anyway. . . . I think I'd be the best for that job because of what I went through last year, what I learned. I think I can use that and help others. Just try to be there for someone if they need someone to talk to. I'm a pretty good listener."

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The NHL is hosting events throughout February to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues and gender equality, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
NHL, LGBTQ, ambassador, gender equality
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2017-01-07
Tuesday, 07 Feb 2017 04:01 PM
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