Chicago Blackhawks to March Stanley Cup in Gay Pride Parade

Pronger

Chicago Blackhawk Brent Sopel, his wife, his four kids, and the Stanley Cup will represent the team in Chicago's Gay Pride parade this Sunday, the Sun Times reports.

Said President John McDonough, who is sending the cup from the NHL Draft in L.A.: "The power of the Cup is incomprehensible, and we recognize the importance of doing this. It's important for the city and important for the franchise…The Stanley Cup has become the biggest celebrity of all. It has its own personality and charm. We will be proud to participate in the parade. And Brent Sopel is one of the truly great guys. To have the cup part of the parade is just another great part of the celebration."

Sopel will be marching in honor of the late Brendan Burke, who died earlier this year in a car accident after breaking barriers in the hockey world by discussing his sexuality in Sports Illustrated with his father, Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke.

Said Sopel: "When Brendan came out, Brian stood by him, and his whole family stood by him, like every family should. We teach our kids about accepting everybody. Tolerate everybody, to understand where everyone is coming from."

Earlier this month, the Blackhawks were making news after the photo you see above (click to enlarge, and read whiteboard) revealed that Flyers player Chris Pronger was being mocked as gay in the Hawks locker room, following publication of a photo of Pronger with a skirt on in the Chicago Tribune.

The Chicago Cubs will also have a float in the parade, for the first time, and Ernie Banks will ride on it.

The walls, they are coming down…

Comments

  1. Roland says

    Even though the phrase, “dumb as a doornail”, comes to mind, hockey players can be cute in that clueless, straight guy with incredible legs sort of way. And it says a lot about progress and the attitude of younger heterosexuals that they’ve decided to go for it and that the Stanley Cup will be in the parade. What a teachable moment!

  2. Henry Holland says

    “Even though the phrase, “dumb as a doornail”, comes to mind”

    Wow, stereotyping much? Brent Sopel, that dumb as a doornail hockey player seems more enlightened than you are: “Tolerate everybody, to understand where everyone is coming from”.

  3. Kyle says

    I live right on the parade route and work in wrigleyville so I’m really excited and happy that both the hawks and cubs are supporting the gay community.

  4. Toddyy says

    “Dumb as a doornail?” That’s lovely. These guys are willing to take a step forward and you perpetuate a hurtful stereotype? I’m sure Brent Sopel and his family would be thrilled to read this. Did you read Brent’s comments about Brendan Burke? He seems like a pretty smart guy to me. I hope they get a wonderful reception at the parade.

  5. Tyler says

    Roland. Really. Hockey players, gay and straight, are terrific folk–and like any group of people they have smart folks and dumb folks. But, truly, you came out of your closet to once again point at your face and say, “I’m a shameful dumb fuck.” Fuck you you ignorant fuck.

  6. Bruno says

    Chicago is okay if you’re from St. Louis, Milwaukee or Indianapolis, but its very cold in the winter. Having fellated a few hockey players in college I don’t think Roland’s comment is that bad, but one shouldn’t generalize.

  7. Hue-Man says

    When Brendan Burke’s death was announced, a commenter on one site thought it wasn’t newsworthy and that he was just the spoiled son of an NHL executive. The comment underestimated the effect that Brendan’s message had on hockey players generally and the drive and support of his father. Congrats to the Black Hawks on winning and supporting.

    As to the “dumb” comment, if they listen to their parents, coaches, and agents, they will plan their career after hockey which – like most pro sports – doesn’t extend much beyond mid 30s. Ken Dryden – lawyer and ex-Cabinet Minister – comes to mind as a good example.

  8. Bruno says

    @ Gary, I am from Chicago, but I was run out of town by a bunch of homophobic bullies who couldn’t tolerate differences. I don’t miss winter there, but the new Mayor Daly, well I’ll have to make do.

    Why would you ask?

  9. says

    Begin snark:

    Sports Queens.

    End snark.

    All snarking aside, I think this is wonderful. And I hope it’s the start of more professional clubs “coming out of the closet” to support LGBT folk.

  10. JusticeontheRocks says

    Lord Stanley’s Cup and Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, maybe the greatest Cub ever. This New Yorker tips his hat to the Second City. Great job.

  11. kimmer says

    WOW! Good for you Chicago! Good for you Blackhawks! This is so inspiring.
    Unfortunately, I don’t believe any representatives from the World Champion New York Yankees will be marching in my town’s parade this Sunday. But maybe when they see how they’ve been one-upped by Chicago’s sportsmen, they’ll get on board for next year . . .

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