One of the people marching in tomorrow’s Chicago Gay Pride Parade will be Tommy Wingels, forward to the San Jose Sharks.
As reported by Outsports, the National Hockey League athlete will represent the You Can Play Project. According to the group’s website it’s committed ‘to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, without regard to sexual orientation.’
Wingels is a close friend of Brendan Burke; both played for the Miami (Ohio) University hockey team. In 2009, Burke came out to his teammates. The support he received was tremendous, and soon started talking publicly about the difficulties of being gay and an athlete. He died in a 2010 car accident.
‘I think it’s important my story is told to people, because there are a lot of gay athletes out there and gay people working in pro sports that deserve to know there are safe environments where people are supportive regardless of your sexual orientation,’ Burke said to a news organization after his experience became public.
Wingels, who was drafted in 2008, participated in the below video for the You Can Play Project.