It’s barely a month ago that NHL prospect Luke Prokop came out as gay, and he’s already returning to the hockey grind after attending the Nashville Predators’ 2021 Development Camp.
Prokop, a top option in the Predators’ organization, would be the first openly gay NHL player in history if he were to make it to Nashville’s roster. Last week camp, which had 26 players, was held to “train and guide players in their pro development and conditioning programs.”
In a letter interview with John Casey from the lawyer last week, Prokop said his departure has gone well and that he has not been the subject of any slander since discussing his sexuality in public.
“Yes, it’s obviously a known thing that homophobic sloppiness occurs, not only in hockey, but in many sports, so my hope was that by coming out I could influence it and help change the language,” Said Prokop. “Since I came out, I’m glad to say I’ve not encountered any nonsense.”
Does not hear any nonsense tracks with what Outsports have heard from other athletes after they came out. To begin with, most players are not jerky and often throw thoughtlessly around nonsense almost out of habit, especially in their formative years. Having an openly gay teammate makes players think twice.
In addition, Prokop has the institutional support of the NHL, the Predators and the players in the league, so anyone who is stupid enough to utter a sloppy will have consequences.
That way, I was struck by the reaction of Predator defender Mark Borowiecki, who spoke with Prokop after he came out.
Borowiecki said he was not sure if there was room or acceptance for an LGBTQ athlete in the NHL when he was growing up, but the 32-year-old said he has witnessed his sport move forward, calling this moment a big step.
“To see this sport evolve where a young man feels comfortable doing this, I think it’s great,” Borowiecki said. “I think that is the growth of our sport. I think that is the growth of all sports in general. Sport must be a safe place for everyone, and hockey must follow. ”
Since it came out, Prokop has received overwhelming support from the inside and without hockey. One of the coolest examples of the latter came then Sir Elton John called him to congratulate him, NHL.com reports.
“I was like, wait, wait a minute, is that real?” Said Prokop.
He took a bath, ate breakfast and was getting ready for the gym when the French number came in. The caller identified himself as Elton.
“We just had a really good conversation,” Prokop said. “He congratulated me, just asked me how the day was, how the support was, and then he thanked me for being brave and getting out. It was a really cool conversation. ”
When Prokop told her mother who had called, she was ecstatic. “She started screaming like, ‘What?’ She almost started to collapse. She was probably more excited for me than I was for myself to get that call, ”said Prokop.
The 6-4, 218-pound defender was the Predators’ third-round draft pick in the 2020 draft and is awarded to Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey Assn. Hopefully, one day soon, Prokop will be called up to the predator list and we finally get an openly gay NHL player.
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