Predators’ Luke Prokop :
Luke Prokop made history on Monday.
The Predators defenseman signed an entry-level deal with Nashville in December, but perhaps the biggest event of his life happened for him on July 19, when the 19-year-old became gay, becoming thus the first openly gay player in the NHL.
Prokop posted a tweet announcing it:
Prokop’s statement in its entirety:
Hi all. Although the past year and a half has been crazy, it has also given me the chance to find my true self. I’m no longer afraid to hide who I am.
Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay.
It has been quite a journey to get to this point in my life, but I couldn’t be happier with my decision to step out. From a young age, I have dreamed of being an NHL player and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to fully develop myself on the ice and improve my chances of achieving my dreams.
I wouldn’t be able to do this without my amazing family, friends and agents – who knew this by my side and met me with love and support every step of the way. I hope that by sharing who I am I can help others see that gays are welcome in the hockey community as we work to make sure that hockey is truly for everyone.
I may be new to the community, but I can’t wait to learn more about the strong and resilient people who came before me and paved the way for me to be more comfortable today. This is just the start of my journey and I’m excited to see where it takes me, both in hockey and in life.
Prokop detailed his reasons for dating Pierre LeBrun from The Athletic:
“I don’t want to have to walk into the gym or the arena or just to work out, and keep thinking, ‘Who knows? Who doesn’t know?’ This is who I am, ”said Prokop.
“I don’t think that’s going to be a big topic of conversation, that’s not what I want it to be. It’s just, ‘Hey, here’s who I am.’ It relieves my chest so I don’t have to worry and wonder about others. “
Right-handed defender Prokop is expected to be a depth defender at the top level. He played with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.
The NHL world offered words of support for Prokop’s decision to exit:
I am incredibly proud of Luke Prokop.
i implore everyone to resist the urge to fight homophobes on tl. I understand the intention, but it often only serves to promote hatred. be stronger with your support than they are with their hate💛
– cate off season (@csa_cate) July 19, 2021