The NHL vows to ensure his experience is a welcoming one.
On Monday, July 19, NHL prospect Luke Prokop came out publicly as gay on social media. Prokop is a 19-year-old defenceman from Edmonton who was recently drafted by the Nashville Predators, according to Sportsnet.
"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," the athlete began. "Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay."
He went on to say that it's been quite a journey and that he could not be happier with his choice to come 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 bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams," he wrote. He said that he's excited to see where his journey takes him, both in hockey and in life.
The NHL shared a statement from Commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman said that he is proud of Prokop and thanked him for sharing his truth and being brave.
Statement from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Luke Prokop’s (@lukeprokop_6) decision to publicly come out as gay: https://t.co/4S7rWI872W— NHL (@NHL) 1626702573.0
"We pledge to do everything possible to ensure that Luke's experience is a welcoming and affirmative one and continue to work to ensure that any current of future NHL player contemplating following in his trailblazing footsteps knows our league is ready to provide full support," the statement continued.