Brendan Burke | Brent Sopel | Brian Burke | Chicago | Gay Pride | Hockey | News

Video, Photos: Stanley Cup Shines in Chicago Gay Pride Parade

(photo by hockey broad)

Chicago Blackhawk Brent Sopel gave some extra shine to Chicago's Gay Pride parade yesterday, accompanying the Stanley Cup on its first-ever appearance at any Gay Pride event. Hockey Broad has a nice report.

Watch videos of the Stanley Cup in the parade and a Feast of Fun interview with Sopel, AFTER THE JUMP...

Cup Sopel, who is married with four kids, rode in the parade in honor of 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."

In a post-parade interview with Outsports, Sopel said: I had a great time, way better than I expected. It was more (fun) than I expected; it was a blast. Everyone was fun, everyone was dancing. But, at the end of the day, I hope it raised some awareness. I wasn’t here to advocate (anything), but if coming here helps break down walls in the meantime, so be it. I was here for Brendan. I hope he is smiling (from heaven). He was a very unique individual. For him to come out, and then die a few months later …when you’re a parent and you have to bury a kid, it’s just heartbreaking.”

Watch videos of the Stanley Cup in the parade and a Feast of Fun interview with Sopel, AFTER THE JUMP...

As you can hear, Chicagoans were thrilled to see the Cup in their Gay Pride parade:

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  1. Fantastic! Hopefully all sport teams and individuals now understand how to be an excellent role model, how to make a difference. Way to go!

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jun 28, 2010 8:03:14 AM

  2. It was really exciting to see the Cup up close, to know that Brent had used his "Day with Lord Stanley" to share it with us, and that his family was spending the day riding that float with him. What a great guy -- I don't understand hockey, but I'm suddenly a huge Brent Sopel fan.

    Posted by: DougChgo | Jun 28, 2010 8:17:28 AM

  3. Great for the NHL, great for the Blackhawks, great for Chicago and great for Sopel. This was a very significant action.

    I do wish people wouldn't go out of their way to state that they aren't "advocating" for anything when they take part in events like this. Why not? Why not be proud to say that you're advocating for justice and fairness and equality and dignity? Why not say that you're advocating for a more open and inclusive sporting world? Why not say that you're advocating for Brendan and people like him who shouldn't ever have to "come out" because they should never have to be "in". What's wrong with proudly advocating for these things? People should be ashamed when they DON'T advocate for these things, no matter who they are.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 28, 2010 8:18:42 AM

  4. that's why I fell in love with Chicago! Such a great place!

    Posted by: Scott in Philly | Jun 28, 2010 8:49:38 AM

  5. Sopel's kids are lucky, they have a great Dad.Well done sir, thank you.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jun 28, 2010 9:18:04 AM

  6. too bad the rest of the team couldn't man up...Jonathan Toews said it was against his religion...

    Posted by: alan brickman | Jun 28, 2010 9:35:53 AM

  7. Hockey is so gay!

    Posted by: Ted | Jun 28, 2010 10:05:08 AM

  8. Hey...Those chicago hockey Gays are one tough crowd. I know. I played against them in Gay Games more than a few times!

    To Sopel:

    You're my "Dude of the Day' Way to go!

    Posted by: New Jersey Girl | Jun 28, 2010 12:37:19 PM

  9. how come chicago teams can do this both baseball and hockey but new york has 9 teams and not one could do something . all they want is the money.

    Posted by: walter | Jun 28, 2010 5:17:35 PM

  10. Another "wow" story! I am originally from Chicago and have rarely been more proud of this great city than now! The Blackhawks are ultimately cool for this gesture of joy and good will to ALL!

    Posted by: james Brown | Jun 28, 2010 5:18:35 PM

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