Luke Prokop says he ‘accepts himself as a gay man’ and hopes others will do the same. (Photo Credit: Luke Prokop via Instagram)

Canadian-native Luke Prokop became the first openly gay National Hockey League (NHL) player after posting about his sexual orientation via Instagram on July 19. At only nineteen years old, Prokop was chosen by the Nashville Predators during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Much like National Football League (NFL) defensive end Carl Nassib, Prokop chose to come out online by telling followers about his journey in the LGBTQ community and about the support that he has received from family, friends and agents. 

“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 truly is for everyone,” Prokop’s Instagram post reads. Both the official Predators and NHL accounts commented, encouraging Prokop’s announcement. 

In an interview with ESPN, Prokop explained that he had told the Nashville Predators’ Assistant General Manager, Brian Poile, about his sexuality early on. After several failed attempts to connect with people on dating apps, Prokop decided that he would no longer deny his “true authentic self.” Around this time, he chose to tell Poile that he identified as a gay man. Prokop recalls crying at Poile’s words of support and acceptance. 

Prokop is the first active NHL player to come out as gay, but he is not the first player in NHL history to ever come out. Meghan Duggan, ice hockey forward and American Olympic gold medalist, also identifies as gay. 

“The Nashville Predators organization is proud of Luke for the courage he is displaying in coming out today and we will support him unequivocally in the days, weeks and years to come as he continues to develop as a prospect,” Prokop’s team Tweeted. It should be no surprise that the NHL is reacting positively to Prokop’s social media post. 

The NHL partnered with LGBTQ organization You Can Play in 2013 in an effort to stand in solidarity with all queer athletes, coaches, fans and agents. During their Pride Night events, all 31 NHL teams have wrapped their hockey sticks in rainbow tape to demonstrate their devotion to being an ally. 

Says Prokop: “I’m going to lace up my skates the same. I’m going to put my jersey on the same, strap up my helmet, put on my gloves. But I’m finally going to be able to breathe and exhale and show the world the real me.” 

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One reply on “First Openly Gay National Hockey League Player Comes Out via Instagram”

  1. Question: What is so special about a human being’s sexuality that it is worth writing an article about it?

    Question: Is what someone does in the privacy of his/her bedroom something special?

    Question: why don’t hetero-sexual human beings’ “come out” about their sexuality on whatever social medium platform? Why is it special to read about a homo-sexual human being in whatever branch of activities?

    ANSWER: It indeed is special when a human being steps out of what is regarded as a normal situation, in the cases of a man/woman telling about his/her homo-sexuality! It is considered a “special thing” when someone delares him/herself to be homo-sexual, why? What is so special about being homo-sexual? We breath, we eat, we die, we travel, we work, we do our jobs, we go drink, we go out to bars, restaurants, we decorate our homes the way we want them to be decorated, we drive our cars, we earn our money…. just like any heter-sexual, so what’s different, what’s special about it?

    SPECIAL is NOT being homo-sexual, SPECIAL is that society considers it special because society considers heter-sexuality to be the norm, the “normal”……. Homoe-sexual are bound to expose themselves because society regards, considers and thinks it to be “out-of-the-normal” to be not hetero-sexual!~THAT makes being homo-sexual so SPECIAL! Not the homo-sexual itself, not homo-sexuality itself is special, no way, we are HUMAN BEINGS who happen to LOVE someone of our own gender, that’s all!

    Being homo-sexual is as normal as being hetero-sexual, loving another human being is as anormal as …. loving another human being, nothign special about it!

    So, “normal” hetero-sexuals in society, act normal, become normal, and stop pretending as if homo-sexuality is something SPECIAL, YOU are the “specials” by making other human beings “special”!
    We Human beings Are The Normal!

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