Die 19-jarige het die aankondiging op Instagram gedoen.
“haai almal. Die afgelope anderhalf jaar was regtig mal, dit het my ook die kans gegee om my ware self te vind. I am no longer sacred to hide who I am,” hy het geskryf. “Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay.
“It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out. Van kleins af droom ek daarvan om 'n NHL-speler te wees, 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.”
Prokop told ESPN he wanted to come out publicly because he believes it will help ease his mind and help him with his performance on the ice.
Volgens die afsetpunt, no NHL player active or retired has ever come out publicly.
The Predators selected Prokop in the third round of the NHL Draft last year. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Nashville in December. He played for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.
The Predators released statements on Prokop after his announcement.
“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. 'N Doelwit wat al lank in ons organisasie is, is gelykheid vir almal, insluitend die LGBTQ-gemeenskap, and it is important that Luke feels comfortable and part of an inclusive environment as he moves forward in his career,” President /CEO Sean Henry said.
David Poile, the team’s president of hockey operations/general manager, bygevoeg: “Luke is a valued prospect of the Nashville Predators and we think he has a bright future. We want Luke to become a successful hockey player, and we understand his ability to be out comfortably will help him achieve his goals on and off the ice. We are committed to ensuring nothing stands in the way of his ability. His courage is an inspiration to us, and to the LGBTQ community in Nashville.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman thanked Prokop for “sharing his truth and for being so brave.”
“I share his hope that these announcements can become more common in the hockey community. LGBTQ players, afrigters, and staff can only perform at their absolute best if they live their lives as their full and true selves. We do not take the meaning and importance of this announcement lightly,” hy het bygevoeg.
“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 or future NHL Player contemplating following his trailblazing footsteps knows our League is ready to provide full support.”
NHL Players Association Executive Director Don Fehr said the NHL community will “support Luke as he strives toward his goal of playing in the NHL, and we applaud the example he is setting for those in the game of hockey and beyond.”