Nashville Predators top prospect Luke Prokop made NHL history on Monday by coming out as gay. He is the first active player that has been signed by an organization to ever do so and he received an outpour of support from social media for his courageous act.
Prokop took to Instagram to make the announcement and also conducted an emotional interview with ESPN. Take a look:
"I'm finally gonna be able to breathe and exhale and show the world the real me."
Luke Prokop talks with @emilymkaplan after he became the first active player under NHL contract to come out as gay. pic.twitter.com/JNOqUIYAsz
— ESPN (@espn) July 19, 2021
Here is part of the full statement from Luke Prokop as well:
“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,” said Prokop.
“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.
“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,” Luke Prokop added.
“I hope that in sharing who I am I can help other people see that gay people are welcome in the hockey community, as we work to make sure that hockey truly is for everyone.”
The 19-year-old Canadian was selected by the Predators in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft but has yet to play in the NHL. Luke Prokop spent this past season with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.
The NHL and Nashville president David Boile fully supported Prokop's decision, with the league even donating a bag of money to LGBTQ+ organizations:
The NHL announces a $100,000 donation to national LGBTQ+ organizations selected in coordination with @lukeprokop_6. pic.twitter.com/tepFGrXuoU
— NHL (@NHL) July 19, 2021
Hopefully, Luke Prokop can still make his NHL dreams come true with this weight lifted off his shoulders.