NHL Endorses Film about Gay Pro Hockey Player

In an unusual move for an organization with no openly gay athletes, the National Hockey League and the Toronto Maple Leafs have allowed filmmakers to use their logos and uniforms in a new film about a gay couple who become guardians of a boy questioning his own sexuality:

Breakfastwithscot“Actor Tom Cavanaugh plays a gay ex-Leaf in a comedy film Breakfast With Scot currently being shot in the GTA and Hamilton. He’s one-half of a homosexual couple — his partner is the team lawyer — whose lives are turned upside down after becoming guardians of Scot, ‘a budding queen of an 11-year-old boy,’ according to the storyline.”

Said Cavanaugh, who is Canadian and best known for his work on the TV series Ed: “I never in a million years thought when we finally went to shooting we’d be donning Leaf sweaters. I thought it’d be that thing where it’s the Toronto Razorbacks or whatever. There’s something instant to the viewer when you put on a Leafs jersey or any Original Six jersey. It’s harder to tell the story asking the public to remember this is supposed to be the NHL, even though we have to call it the NHA. You have to give full credit to the NHL and the Leafs for signing on. It also shows the possibility for if someone were to come out, perhaps it wouldn’t be as big a deal as we think.”

Past and current Maple Leaf captains were supportive of the film. Said former player Darryl Sittler: “Obviously, it’s the real world we live in and I have no issues with it at all. To me, those things have come a long way and they should.”

Would this have played out this way if it were taking place in America? I doubt it.

Here’s a link to a review of the novel Breakfast with Scot that appeared in Salon in 1999.

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  1. says

    Very cool. I think we’re reaching a tipping point. Gay politicians are being elected in Alabama; an amendment to ban gay marriage failed in Arizona; gay marriage amendments actually hurt Republicans during the election in many states (including Virginia); multiple actors and “celebrities” have come out, including actors in the midst of their successful careers (Knight, Neil Patrick Harris, et al).

    Now, we have a “macho” organization being gay-friendly (and what a sport to be gay friendly! Hockey would sure have some appeal to glbt audiences). Who’s to say this won’t help a hockey player come out, or at least a retired player. Who’s to say it won’t kickstart a NHL advertising campaign to directed toward glbt audiences to help increase ticket sales.

    Some people have thought of gay rights in terms of how much progress we can see in the next 50 years. If we’ve reached the tipping point, we could have full equality in less than a fifth of that time. Maybe we’ll even see a gay President someday soon.

  2. Harv says

    I think incorporating hockey and especially the NHL and a real team (whether or not it was in the original novel) is awesome.–This really broadens the target market for a movie about gay relationships/etc.

    The more we see big projects like this that can appeal to a wide demographic, the more it helps break down any remaining hang-ups about homosexuality.

    Good work! :)

  3. patrick nyc says

    Ryan while I’m happy to see any progress for gay rights, I think you are pushing it a bit to think we’re that close to equality. The story below this one on Romney and his stance on gay marriage was also on the front page of the NY Times. A handful of actors coming out and films dealing with gay subject matter is a step in the right direction, but the road is a long one ahead of us.

  4. says

    Well, a tipping point means that for a very long time little – if anything – is going in your way. Some causes have gradual gains, others everything is seemingly against it until one day it isn’t. I think there are some signs that it’s going to be that way for g/l issues (I really don’t know about b/t, that’s a whole different can of worms). We’ve seen almost everything go against us in recent years, but suddenly gay marriage bans are either barely passing or outright failing.

    I don’t know if I’m right either. It could be wishful thinking. However, there are some signs there… but it could just be tea leaf reading.

  5. gripper says

    l think the whole gay movement makes me sick. Toronto gay parade is nothing but abunch of insecure oiled down queers in thongs.l grew up in Toronto and glad l moved out in 1990. lve been all over North America and Toronto is the most depressing rat race of losers lve ever seen. Toronto Maple Leafs l hope are letting them use their logo for $$$…Just get a grip boys and bring the Stanley Cup back home before some players decide to wear a dress. Aw 1967..the Stanley Cup and no gays, those were the days!

  6. Ben Mulrooney says

    1967 = Toronto Maple Leafs. 2007 = Toronto Maple Syrups…..l hope you all get gay cow disease from to much homo milk! After they built the CN TOWER all the queers came to Toronto to worship that BIG meat monster in the sky…theres only one place for your types…BROKEBUTT MOUNTAIN, TEXASS

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