Applaud Anti-Homophobia Training in Professional Hockey

Target: National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman

Goal: Support the inclusive and non-discriminatory stance of the National Hockey League.

The National Hockey League (NHL) and a sports-oriented anti-homophobia advocacy group are joining forces to provide team members with tolerance training and other programs. Please sign this petition in support of the NHL’s continued efforts to make their league inclusive and non-discriminatory.

You Can Play is the advocacy group teaming up with the NHL to promote a culture of equality, respect, and safety for all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation. The group was co-founded in 2012 by Patrick Burke, Philadelphia Flyers scout and son of hockey executive Brian Burke. Patrick Burke’s brother announced he was gay in 2009. You Can Play will provide formal anti-homophobia training for all incoming players. The team and players’ union will also work together with You Can Play to integrate diversity training programs into the league’s behavioral health program. Within this program, players will have a confidential outlet to discuss issues surrounding sexual orientation and discrimination.

The partnership between You Can Play and the NHL confirms the NHL’s policy against discrimination based on orientation, which has been part of its contract with players since 2005. Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a joint statement with You Can Play, “While we believe that our actions in the past have shown our support for the LGBT community, we are delighted to reaffirm through this joint venture with the NHL Players’ Association that the official policy of the NHL is one of inclusion on the ice, in our locker rooms and in the stands.”

Please sign this petition and support the National Hockey League’s efforts to include all players in the sport regardless of orientation. The partnership with You Can Play will undoubtedly set a standard for all professional sports leagues and the expectations of their players and fans.


Dear Commissioner Bettman,

The recent partnership between the National Hockey League (NHL) and anti-homophobia advocacy group, You Can Play, is sending the right message of inclusiveness and non-discrimination in professional sports. I am writing to applaud your efforts to address sexual-orientation in sports with both your players and the public. Thank you for publicly addressing this issue with education, outreach and diversity training.

Although the NHL’s policy against discrimination based on orientation has been part of the payers’ contracts since 2005, it is nice to see that policy put into practice. You Can Play will implement the hands-on training and education necessary to breed a culture of inclusion, respect and equality. The partnership will highlight the NHL’s commitment to their policies not just on paper, but in practice. As the environment starts to change, young athletes will feel confident as part of teams based on skill and respect, rather than differences. Similarly, fans will follow the example of the players and open the world of hockey to a broader audience.

I applaud the recent partnership between the National Hockey League and You Can Play as a path to widen acceptance of people not only in sports, but as part of the American culture. Thank you for promoting and implementing practices that reflect a modern framework for teamwork and team unity.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: via Yahoo

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