Luke Prokop, a prospect for the Nashville Predators, surprised the world with his open letter announcing he is gay. Luke, who hopes to rise through the ranks of hockey to the NHL level with the Predators, said,
"Hi everyone. 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.
"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.
"I wouldn't be able to do this without my amazing family, friends, and agents - who have known this about me and met me with love and support every step of the way. 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.
"I may be new to the community, but I am eager to learn about the strong and resilient people who came before me and paved the way so I could be more comfortable today. This is just the beginning of my journey and I am excited to see where it takes me, both in hockey and in life.
The Nashville Predators organization, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, and players everywhere have committed to supporting Luke in his journey to pro hockey. The 19 yr old got an affirming and encouraging message on social media from the organization.
NHL.COM reports Preds defensemen Roman Josi and Mark Borowiecki said, "We're obviously very proud of him for taking that step," Josi, the Nashville captain, said by phone from Switzerland. "Our message as a team [is that] we're obviously very supportive of him. We just reached out and told him [we'll help with] whatever he needs and that we're proud of him. It's a big step for him and we fully support him."