Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This May Be A First

According to Yahoo, The Stanley Cup will be on display during Chicago's Gay Pride Parade.

For a real lesson on tolerance, people should speak to Defenseman Brent Sopel. From the article:
The Blackhawks took pride in bringing the city together during their quest for the Cup; cutting across demographics and eventually partying with 2 million Chicagoans at their championship rally. They also took pride in sparking a revival for hockey in the Windy City, and grassroots organizations like the CGHA are essential to the expansion of the fan base and the growth of the sport.

But above all, it's been a progressive year for hockey and tolerance. The late Brendan Burke, the son of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke who died tragically in an auto accident earlier this year, shared his story of coming out in the hockey world and received an outpouring of support.

Burke's legacy is one of the reasons why Chicago defenseman Brent Sopel(notes), his wife and four children will appear with the Cup at the Pride Parade, according to the Sun-Times:

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

I am pretty sure that championship teams from the other major sports, Football, Baseball, and Basketball have not stepped out. I am almost certain NASCAR would not do this.

For all of the common tropes of violence and incivility, it is good to see hockey as one of the first sports to make tolerance a virtue.

For a great article on Brendan Burke, read John Buccigross' piece, "We Love You, This Won't Change a Thing."

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