I’m opening this blog with saying that here at Ham Sports, we don’t condone any bigotry of any kind. So if you’re here to just be a dick or troll, I’ll kindly ask you to fuck off. This blog is to talk about something ground breaking that happened in the NHL and if you don’t feel positively about it, I hope this will help you open your mind to just how important it was. But if you’re here to just be rude then get out.
The NHL released a video this week that is absolutely fantastic. The video is of Harrison Browne, the first professional athlete in North America to come out as transgender, talking with Elliot Govaars, a younger transgender player, about their experiences as transgender hockey players. The video is amazing and it gives you a look inside what these players went through.
The NHL hasn’t put the video on YouTube yet so you can find it here.
It’s inspiring to hear Harrison’s story and watch as he has progressed from a professional player, to an Ambassador for You Can Play and advocate for LGBT+ Equality. Browne has an amazing story to tell with being the first openly transgender athlete in pro hockey. But one of the best things is how he has helped others.
Harrison has inspired so many younger players who have been through the same struggles. He’s given them someone to look at and think “wow I’m not alone in all of this after all.” And sometimes that’s what you need to get through the day.
That’s where Elliot comes in. Elliot is a player for the Jr. Sharks and was inspired by Harrison’s story. In the video, Elliot talks about what it was like to go through this transition and how important the acceptance from his teammates has been for him.
I’ll be honest this video had me in tears. Although there have been big steps taken over the past few years when it comes to LGBT+ equality on every level, there is still a big divide when it comes to sports. The NHL does good work with You Can Play and attending Pride events. And when it comes to actually hearing stories from player that have been through the thick of it, it’s inspiring.
There is so much toxicity that builds up around these topics that as a young LGBT+ person, it’s hard to find hope. But this video gives hope to some of those kids fighting through their day to day life. This gives them the light that they have been looking for, a chance at a better future.
For a young kid that is maybe feeling like they weren’t born in the right body, having players like Harrison and Elliot to look up to can mean the world of difference. It gives them a sign that things are going to be okay. It gives them a role model. It gives them hope. And isn’t that what we all need? There is still a fight for acceptance and equality within the NHL and the world. But this video is going to only help that fight for equality become a victory.
Featured Image: Troy Parla/NWHL